- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
St. Mary’s liquor board members ordered Thursday that the licensees of a Lexington Park restaurant and a Mechanicsville area country store each pay a $500 fine on their admission to an administrative violation of the sale of alcohol to underage correctional officers from the county jail.
A 19-year-old woman ordered and received a draft beer on July 31 at Buffalo Wild Wings Grill and Bar, without being asked for identification by the employee who served it to her, according to Joann Wood, the attorney for the St. Mary’s Alcohol Beverage Board.
Board members were told by representatives of the business and their lawyer that the employee had gotten a perfect score during training on alcohol sales, but was ultimately terminated for the violation. “We don’t know why he didn’t do what he was supposed to do,” Linda Carter, the lawyer representing the business, said during the hearing. “We view this very seriously.”
Moses P. Saldaña, the board’s chairman, said during the proceeding, “That one misstep can cost a young person his or her life.”
Board members fined the business $1,000, suspended to the $500 fine, in part on the condition that the restaurant continue its in-house alcohol service training.
At Boatman’s Mini Mart, Wood said, a 19-year-old man who tried to buy a 12-pack of beer on Aug. 1 was carded and refused, but he gave his money outside to a woman who went in, bought the beer and gave it to him. Investigators heard the employee and the woman talk about “undercover cops” and what was “going on” during their transaction, the lawyer said.
Scott Lee Boatman’s lawyer said that while the store’s employee did not sell alcohol to the underage customer, there were “adequate grounds” for the admission to the violation. Boatman said he did not understand how a law officer could have heard the alleged comments.
“I’m not prepared to come here and question an officer’s integrity,” Boatman said, but he later added, “It would be the dumbest thing in the world to turn down a minor and sell to somebody else and make those kinds of statements.”
Boatman’s lawyer said that the admission was “that the clerk did in fact know that this was being purchased for the underaged person.”
Board members issued a $1,000 fine, suspended to $500 on the condition that the store’s staff receive advanced alcohol training.
In other business, the board members withdrew their findings from 2009 and earlier this year that administrative violations had occurred during a disturbance and shooting complaint three years ago outside Butler’s Place nightclub south of Lexington Park.
Rufus Butler’s license was suspended for 30 days as he pursued an appeal of the case through the court system. Saldaña said Thursday that a “considerable period” of time had ensued since the two incidents, and that the prior rulings are now “void” and cannot be considered if any additional violations occur at that location in the future.