City reviews liquor license process

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The Craig City Council's process for renewing liquor licenses came into question Tuesday night when members considered renewing a license for one of the 8 establishments in Moffat County cited for serving alcohol to a minor.

The citations occurred in a recent Grand Futures Prevention Coalition sting that involved local law enforcement agencies.

An employee of Carelli's Inc. was cited at the end of February when the sting occurred. It was the restaurant's first offense.

Councilor Don Jones asked what the council's policy was in renewing a license under those circumstances.

"When a business has a violation for selling to a minor, usually we ask what they're going to do," Jones said.

The last time the council considered the renewal of a business liquor license when that business had

been cited in a sting for selling alcohol to a minor, the employee who was cited was required to attend alcohol service training classes.

The council tabled a decision on whether to renew that business' liquor license until the employee completed the course.

The city council is the local liquor licensing authority.

"Basically tonight you're just deciding whether to renew that license," City Attorney Sherman Romney said. "You can't just arbitrarily deny one. You have to have good cause to do that. Serving a minor could be considered a

good cause to deny the renewal

of a license."

Romney said the city did have the option, after the violation occurred, to suspend the liquor licenses of all businesses cited but didn't.

"If it were a continuing offense, then we could go on with a disciplinary action," he said.

Council members have considered in the past, and discussed the issue again Tuesday, requiring a business to have all new employees attend a training class for alcohol servers as a condition of liquor license renewal.

No decision was made.

"Normally the establishments are quite concerned about this. When they're not concerned, that's when we get concerned," Romney said.

"The owner was extremely apologetic," Mayor Dave DeRose, who owns a business next door to Carelli's, said. "I don't think you'll see that becoming an issue personally."

Christina M. Currie can be reached at 824-7031 or by e-mail at ccurrie@craigdailypress.com.

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