Craig A compliance check conducted by the Craig Police Department resulted in liquor violations for 10 local businesses.
On May 3, an underage person was sent into restaurants and stores across town to try to purchase alcohol. The 10 businesses that failed the compliance check - by selling to the minor - were required to attend the Craig City Council's Liquor Licensing Authority on Tuesday night.
Among the businesses with violations were Fiesta Jalisco, Kum & Go - both East and West - and Safeway.
Attorney Steve Lee accompanied Safeway manager Fred Hudson to the podium. Lee referred to the sale as an "unfortunate circumstance."
Safeway's second violation of CRS 12-47-901 of the Colorado Liquor Code in six months led the council to suspend the business's liquor license for five business days, beginning Monday.
"We have a detailed training program for this, but there are sometimes incidents," Lee said. "All we can do is stand up, admit it and accept the punishment."
Fiesta Jalisco, also a second-time offender, received the same suspension.
The Kum & Go stores, both on their third violations within a year, were given lengthier suspensions.
West Kum & Go, represented by Susan Garlock, will be unable to sell liquor from June 23 to July 12, 20 days total, the minimum sentence for a third offense.
A fourth violation can lead to revocation of liquor licenses.
East Kum & Go had no representatives in attendance. The council chose to add an additional 10 days onto the store's license suspension as a result of failing to appear.
"I'm astonished that they weren't here," Police Chief Walt Vanatta said. "The minimum sentence just isn't appropriate if they don't care enough to show up."
Council records show that East Kum & Go received sufficient notification of the hearing. Store representatives were unavailable for comment.
Management for Craig Liquor, Loadout Liquors, Carelli's, Casa Loya, and Pizza Hut will receive written warnings from the council for violations, each of which was their first within the past year. Another will lead to suspension of licenses if it occurs within the next year.
J.W. Snack's Gulf Coast Bar and BBQ is a first-time offender, as well. Owner Danny Griffith maintained that he is "making every effort to make sure it never happens again."
Many of the businesses' representatives said they have worked on solutions such as carding customers no matter what age, and hiring workers certified in Training for Intervention Procedures.
City Council member Bill Johnston refers to the problem of minors buying liquor as a "three-legged stool."
"Licensees aren't the whole problem," Johnston said. "We need to have some kind of fines for the kids who are actually doing it, because they're not just going to stop. Fines for that kind of thing go through the DA's office, though.
"Parents are the third leg in the stool, because some of them are providing alcohol for their kids' friends. It's as big a deal to handle these problems as it is to deal with the businesses."