Montgomery County establishments do poorly on alcohol compliance checks

Montgomery County establishments are illegally selling alcohol to underage drinkers at increasing rates. Photo: Illegal alcohol sales are on the rise (AP)

WASHINGTON, November 13, 2013 — Recently, the Montgomery County Department of Liquor Control (“DLC”) released a report on alcohol compliance checks it had performed over the past year, with a finding that as many as 28% of establishments served alcohol to underage drinkers.

According to the DLC, four types of compliance checks are conducted:

  • A compliance check involving youth under the age of 20 using their own ID, attempting to purchase alcohol at a licensed establishment;
  • A compliance check involving youth under the age of 20 using their own ID, attempting to purchase alcohol through room service at a hotel or motel;
  • A compliance check involving enforcement specialists in plain clothes within a facility conducting surveillance for sales to visibly intoxicated patrons; and
  • A compliance check involving enforcement specialists in plain clothes within a facility conducting surveillance for illegal keg registration.

Amongst the 404 checks for service of alcohol to underage drinkers, an astonishing 113 of them failed. The 28% failure rate in compliance with alcohol laws is up from previous years. It is unclear why there is an increase in the rate at which establishments are illegally serving alcohol to underage drinkers, or why the failure rate has been growing steadily since 2010.

In a section on the DLC’s website, the agency defends the practice of monitoring and regulating alcohol sales. “Alcohol regulatory systems and its individual regulations protect public health and safety. Excessive drinking usually causes harm to the user and innocent bystanders. For this reason, alcohol, being a unique product, should be controlled. Control systems keep prices balanced, prohibits or inhibits aggressive sales practices, and allows small and large business operators to be profitable.”

The DLC quotes the Montgomery County Rules and Regulations, Article 2B, which clearly states that a establishment must not sell or serve any alcoholic beverages to anyone under the age of 21.

In conducting these compliance checks the County also looked for sales of tobacco products to underage individuals, and found that 26% of checks failed to prevent sales of tobacco products to minors.

The report states that out of the 200 establishments examined, 71 supplied tobacco to underage agents of the DLC. Unusually, 41 of the establishments sold the products after checking for identification that clearly showed the agents age. “Fake IDs” were not used in this process.

The report warns of other major issues with the sale of alcohol in Montgomery County, stating “Although they are the primary intention, underage sales and over service are not the only violations yielded from compliance checks. On occasion offenses such as tampering, unapproved source of alcohol, lack of alcohol awareness training and other violations are identified during compliance checks.


This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

More from Metro News
 
blog comments powered by Disqus
Rahat Husain

Rahat Husain has been working as a columnist since 2013 when he joined the Communities. With an interest in America and Islam, Rahat is a prolific writer on contemporary and international issues.

 

In addition to writing for the Communities, Rahat Husain is an Attorney based in the Washington DC Metropolitan area. He is the Director of Legal and Policy Affairs at UMAA Advocacy. For the past six years, Mr. Husain has worked with Congressmen, Senators, federal agencies, think tanks, NGOs, policy institutes, and academic experts to advocate on behalf of Shia Muslim issues, both political and humanitarian. UMAA hosts one of the largest gatherings of Shia Ithna Asheri Muslims in North America at its annual convention.

 

Contact Rahat Husain

Error

Please enable pop-ups to use this feature, don't worry you can always turn them off later.

Question of the Day
Featured
Photo Galleries
Popular Threads
Powered by Disqus