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Five Howard County businesses charged with selling alcohol to minors

The Baltimore Sun

Five Howard County businesses, including Zapata's True Mexican Food in Columbia, were cited by Howard County police for selling alcohol to minors, police said Monday.

The businesses are: the 7-Eleven on Frederick Road in Ellicott City; Absolutely Wine & Spirits in Columbia; All Saints Liquors in Laurel; Owen Brown Wine & Spirits in Columbia; and Zapata's True Mexican Food in Columbia.

Each of the businesses have been cited with one count of selling alcohol to minors. Zapata's was charged with two counts of "selling [alcohol ] to a minor, as well as failure to display an alcohol awareness certificate," police said. The 7-Eleven was also charged with failure to display an alcohol awareness certificate and failure to have an alcohol awareness certified manager on site; Owen Brown was charged with failure to display an alcohol awareness certificate.

The five businesses will have hearings before the Howard County Alcohol Beverage Hearing Board, which could suspend the bar's liquor license and/or impose a fine of not more than $2,000 for each violation.

The citations were part of Howard County police's periodic check-ups on county businesses. On Thursday, two underage volunteers working with police were sent to 14 businesses to purchase alcohol. At the five businesses cited, clerks sold alcohol to the teens without asking for their driver's licenses.

Nine businesses - including Wings Sports Cafe in Jessup and Dobbin Square Liquors in Columbia - did not receive citations. According to Monday's announcement, those businesses will receive letters of appreciation from police. Neat-o for them.

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