Cited stores go before city

The Craig City Council on Tuesday held a hearing for five local businesses to show cause for retaining their liquor licenses after they were cited in a compliance check for selling liquor to minors.

The city's three Kum & Go convenience stores, the Galaxy Restaurant and the Cork & Bottle Shop were issued citations by Craig police on May 20.

Acting as the Craig Liquor License Authority Board, the council heard from the businesses.

Attorney Erick Nordstrom, representing Kum & Go stores, explained the training and duties of the clerks who work in the stores and said the three employees have been fired since the failed compliance check.

He blamed the incidents on a high turnover rate for employees and said there is a requirement to enter birthdates of liquor or tobacco buyers into the cash register but that the requirement is bypassed if the store is busy.

John La, owner of the Galaxy Restaurant, explained that the employee working the evening of the failed compliance check had been with the restaurant for only three days before the sale and no longer works there. La also demonstrated a computer that scans a Colorado driver's license and tells the server whether the person is old enough for a liquor purchase.

He said the Galaxy's policy is to card every liquor buyer and that all employees take an alcohol-sales training course.

Roy Southard, owner of the now closed Cork & Bottle Shop, said that no system is 100 percent foolproof and that he would like to see more police visits to liquor stores to remind workers about checking ages of customers and the penalties for selling to underage people.

None of the Kum & Go stores had a previous violation, and the Galaxy Restaurant had one violation three years ago.

The board found the three Kum & Go stores and the Galaxy Restaurant guilty of selling alcohol to an underage buyer, and the stores will receive a written warning. Another violation in the next six months would result in a possible suspension of the businesses' liquor licenses. Owners will be required to take alcohol-sales training classes and hold training for employees who will be selling alcohol.

The board found that no action was required for the Cork & Bottle Shop because the business was closed and the store's liquor license will be turned in to the city.

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