- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
A show cause hearing at last month’s meeting of the Charles County Board of License Commissioners resulted in fines and closure for a White Plains liquor store.
The licensees for Willett’s Liquor and Deli entered a no contest response to the Nov. 20 violation. Charan Chennubadi, the server in question, also was present at the Feb. 27 meeting.
During a compliance check at the store Nov. 20, officers went to the liquor store’s drive-thru. The clerk greeted them and sold them a six-pack of beer without checking the ID and handed the beer over. The officers who conducted the check noticed that Chennubadi did a double take as they drove away. When questioned by Master Cpl. Judith Thompson, he admitted to the violation. Chennubadi also said although the store’s policy is to ID patrons who appear to be younger than 35, he thought the officer looked to be 25 years old and did not check.
Chennubadi said he had not had any alcohol awareness training during his yearlong employment with the store but is Techniques of Alcohol Management, or TAM, certified. Since the incident, additional signs have been posted in the store to remind employees about identification check protocol.
Liquor board member William Young suggested they clearly note when training is completed for alcohol awareness by the store’s employees.
Chennubadi was not fired from his job after the incident.
“It was my mistake. I should not have served him,” Chennubadi said.
“This is your first check and first failure,” member Wayne Magoon said. “It’s clearly been eye-opening because you’ve done some proactive things since, but those should have been done before. I would stress the importance of training. This very well might not have happened … had Mr. Chennubadi been trained. It’s a privilege to own a drive-thru. … You have to be especially cautious with those drive-thrus.”
The store was fined $500 and the server $50. The store was given a three-day closure with two of those held in abeyance for three years. The vote passed the board unanimously. The store was closed Monday.
Chairwoman Pamela Smith was not present for the meeting. In her absence, a work session on the group’s rules and regulations was delayed until the March 13 meeting. The tentative regulations can be found online on the county government’s website at http://bit.ly/1nj0KLt.
Temporary licenses were issued to:
•Committee to Elect Candice Quinn Kelly for a beer-only one-day license 1 to 6 p.m. March 15 at 8400 Old Stagecoach Road in La Plata.
•Grace Lutheran Church and School for a one-day license to sell and serve alcohol 7 to 11 p.m. March 8 for a fundraiser at its Family Life Center in La Plata.
•Bryans Road Volunteer Fire Department for a Texas hold ’em fundraiser 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. March 8.
•College of Southern Maryland for four one-day licenses Feb. 27, March 6, March 13 and May 8 for different classes at the college.
•Name and location change for Ouzo’s to Galazio Restaurant, which is moving farther south on Crain Highway in La Plata.