Ocean City Today

Nine businesses penalized for selling alcohol to minors

By Brian Gilliland | Apr 26, 2018

(April 27, 2018) The Worcester County Board of License Commissioners handed out thousands of dollars in fines to six businesses and issued three official letters of reprimand to Worcester businesses for selling alcohol to undercover, underage police cadets during its monthly meeting last week.

The Ocean Pines location of Whisker’s Bar and Grill incurred the stiffest fine of all at $1,500, which was levied after two official letters of reprimand between 2007-2009 and two $500 fines between 2014-2015.

Cadets had attempted 14 times to buy from the business, and were refused. An employee explained he had been using off-the-rack glasses when he misread a four as the number two.

After the violation, he said he went to the eye doctor and, for the first time in his life, was wearing prescription glasses.

The next-highest fine went to the Newtown Market in Pocomoke City, which was charged $1,000 for its second offense in two years. The owner’s father, Yogi Patel, accepted a license for a purchase and didn’t realize it was fake. The sale was conducted near the end of the shift, and Patel said he was simply tired.

The Outback Steakhouse and Applebee’s locations in West Ocean City each accepted $500 fines from the board, as did Newark Station.

The West O Bottle Shop was charged $250 after it was issued a letter of reprimand in 2014 for a similar offense. The owners explained it was a new employee who had not yet been certified by the county. The employee has since been certified, and the location has been checked 10 times since 2011 and has not sold to undercover police.

Sello’s in West Ocean City, the Friendship Food Mart in Berlin and the Market Street Deli in Pocomoke City were all issued letters of reprimand, which is the first disciplinary step given to a business when a violation is discovered.

A business might also earn a letter for reprimand if it had a previous violation but has a history of having not sold, or had not sold in a while.

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