Craig businesses cited for selling alcohol to minor

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Violations

Craig Police Department liquor license compliance checks cited the following businesses for selling alcohol to a minor:

• Carelli's, 465 Yampa Ave.

• Casa Loya, 351 Ranney St.

• Craig Liquor, 391 Lincoln St.

• Fiesta Jalisco, 410 Ranney St.

• J W Snacks Gulf Coast Bar and BBQ, 210 E. Victory Way

• Kum & Go, 1302 W. Victory Way

• Kum & Go, 700 E. Victory Way

• Loadout Liquors, 1800 W. U.S. Highway 40

• Pizza Hut, 1070 W. Victory Way

• Safeway Food & Drug, 1295 Victory Way

— Another liquor license compliance check, another 10 citations.

The Craig Police Department tested 28 liquor license holders in Craig on May 3, of which 18 refused to sell alcohol to a minor.

The other 10 allegedly did, however, and include four local businesses that also failed a similar Police Department compliance check Jan. 11. The previous check also resulted in 10 citations for Craig businesses.

The east and west Kum & Go locations - which the Craig City Council admonished for being repeat offenders at the March 4 Liquor Licensing Authority hearings - are serving 10-day license suspensions that started Monday.

The council, which serves as the city's Liquor Licensing Authority, ordered both Kum & Go stores to serve immediate suspensions if they were cited for license violations within six months of the March hearing.

Safeway Food & Drug and Fiesta Jalisco - both cited in January, sentenced in March and cited again last week - are awaiting liquor license hearings for penalties. Those could include license suspensions or deferred suspensions such as the Kum & Go stores previously received.

Other businesses cited May 3 for selling to minors were Carelli's, Casa Loya, Craig Liquor, J W Snacks Gulf Coast Bar and BBQ, Loadout Liquors and Pizza Hut. None of those received citations in January.

Officers were disappointed to see some of the same businesses cited from the latest operation, Capt. Jerry DeLong said.

"It's very discouraging that we have repeat offenders," he said. "The majority of (liquor license holders) do the right thing, but when you do compliance checks and have repeat offenders, it's very discouraging."

The Police Department conducted the latest compliance check operation the same way it did in January, by using an area minor to try to purchase alcohol without officers present.

In both cases, the minor used a legitimate driver's license.

"We do not send them in with false ID's," DeLong said. "There were several (license holders) that did not look at the ID There were some of them that did look at the ID."

Although the last Police Department compliance checks before January's operation were about year before, DeLong said the department followed up this time within a few months because of the City Council's concerns.

"The City Council made it clear they wanted (liquor license compliance) checked again within the next six months," DeLong said.

He added the department will continue compliance check operations in the future.

Exactly how the City Council will handle future liquor license violations is uncertain.

The City Council would like to appoint an administrative hearing officer to simplify and streamline the liquor license hearing process in the future. If the Council passes an ordinance appointing a hearing officer, it also would adopt a uniform penalty code.

Councilors have said both steps would help make liquor license violation penalties more consistent.

The city's recent restructuring plans for how it handles liquor license violations should not affect businesses cited May 4, City Manager Jim Ferree said.

Those businesses likely will appear before the City Council in the future. Ferree said the Council might look at setting a hearing date during its May 13 meeting.

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