Five licensed beverage establishments in Harford County were caught selling alcohol to a minor during a compliance test last week, the Harford County Liquor Control Board announced Monday.
Twenty-eight licensed retail alcohol locations were randomly tested June 8, using personnel from the Harford County Sheriff's Office, an underage employee from the Liquor Control Board's undercover program and an inspector from the Harford County Liquor Control Board, the liquor board said in a news release. The locations tested included businesses licensed for off premises sales (liquor stores), full-service restaurants and private clubs.
Five locations "sold" alcohol to the 19-year-old liquor board employee and either accepted the employee's valid Maryland vertical driver's license or did not ask for any identification at all. A vertical license indicates the person is under the legal age of 21 to purchase alcoholic beverages.
According to the liquor board, the locations that served the underage purchaser were: Magoo's Smokehouse in Fallston, Joppa Amoco in Joppa, Santini's Restaurant in Joppa, P & G Mini Mart in Aberdeen and Scotto's Restaurant in Bel Air. Santini's was licensed to sell alcohol in April, according to previous articles published in The Aegis.
The locations tested and found in compliance by not serving the minor were: Ronnie's Beverage Warehouse, Wargo's, Enotria Restaurant, Valleybrook Swim Club, Island Liquors, Saproe di mare, Baldwin Seafood, Longshots, 3rd Base Liquors, Musical Inn, Harford Lanes, Northside Liquors, Courtyard by Marriott, Pizza Hut Havre de Grace, Chiapparelli's, Rogers House Tavern, La Tolteca Churchville, Bruce Bitner's, V. Patel 7-Eleven, Greenbrier Liquors, Golden Szechuan and Parings Bistro.
The five businesses that failed the test will have show cause hearings before the liquor board.
The liquor board conducted the latest compliance test with the assistance of the county sheriff's office using grant money obtained through the State Highway Administration Program for Highway Safety.
According to the liquor board, the compliance testing program is conducted during random times throughout the year to validate that alcohol licensed establishments are lawfully selling alcoholic beverages.