Businesses to appeal alcohol sales citations
Business owners whose employees were allegedly caught selling alcohol to minors last week are looking to appeal the charges.
An underaged decoy who was working with the Truckee Police Department and the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control entered 13 bars and restaurants and asked to be served. The 18-year-old decoy was sold alcohol in six of the establishments, but now a number of those business owners are calling foul.
“We will definitely appeal. We have a perfectly clean record here,” said Ed Coleman, owner of Pacific Crest Grill and Bar of America, one of the businesses written up in the sting. “They’re going around with a guy who looks like he’s 28 years old. I couldn’t tell the decoy (from the agents). He didn’t look anything like a kid that was underaged.”
The same complaint was voiced by other business owners, including Jean-Paul Agoni who owns the downtown Beacon gas station, another business that allegedly sold to the teen.
“The decoy appeared much older than 21. He was very big. If they chose a decoy that looked underage, that would be a fair set up,” Agoni said.
Agoni said that he too is planning to appeal the charges.
Because this was the second offense for Agoni’s business, he stands to lose his right to sell alcohol for up to 25 days. It was also the second offense for the Glenshire General Store.
“I feel for the business owners, but I am not surprised in the least at the results. We didn’t just do this because we thought it would be interesting, we knew we had a problem,” said Truckee police Detective Robert Womack.
“Three weeks ago we visited every single one of these businesses and talked to them about sales to minors. Certainly if they were using ABC guidelines, which is to card anybody under 30, they would have carded [the decoy] because he did not look 30.”
The sting was funded by a grant from the Office of Traffic Safety, which requires such undercover operations, and was spurred by the number of auto accidents that occur each year involving minors, Womack said. High crash rates, particularly when it comes to minors, are in direct correlation with the number of minors being served, according to Womack, and last year Nevada County was a leading county in such accidents.
Business owners who were cited last week said they don’t yet know what the penalties will be, but none are looking forward to the impact it might have on their businesses.
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