Six Howard County liquor stores - five in Elkridge and one in Ellicott City - have been cited by the county for selling liquor to two underage police cadets.
According to a Howard County Police Department press release, the shops cited were: Dorsey Search Wine & Spirits in Ellicott City; Jessup Discount Liquor; Elkridge Discount Liquor; Troy Farms Liquors; Lark Brown Liquors; and Waterloo Liquors, all in Elkridge.
All the cited businesses will be brought before the Alcoholic Beverage Hearing Board for violation hearings.
As part of the operation, two 19-year-old police cadets entered the businesses and attempted to purchase alcohol. According to police, the clerks of these establishments either checked the cadet's ID and then sold the alcohol, or didn't check for ID at all. The ID clearly showed the cadet was under 21 years old, police said.
Ten other establishments in the county fared better. According to police, employees at these establishments followed the appropriate laws and refused to complete the sale after checking the cadet's identification.
Those 10 businesses were: All Saints Liquors, Montpelier Liquors, and Cherry Tree Spirit Shoppe, all in Laurel; Centennial Cue and Karaoke in Ellicott City; Star Liquors in Jessup; Dobbin Square Liquors in Columbia; Harwood Convenience in Elkridge; Highland Wine and Spirits in Highland; and 108 Wine and Spirts and Vintage Cellars, both in Clarksville.
Howard County Police Chief William McMahon will send letters of appreciation to the employees of these shops, commending them on their commitment to curbing underage drinking.
According to police, these periodic tests are part of an ongoing effort to combat underage drinking in Howard County. The police department continues to focus on reducing inappropriate use of alcohol and drunk driving, particularly among young people. The department also wishes to remind everyone that adults hosting parties where alcohol is served to minors face stiff penalties and criminal charges.
Police encourage citizens who are aware of underage drinking or establishments that sell alcohol to minors to call 410-313-STOP or to provide tips through the free smartphone app, “iWatchHowardCounty.”