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Algonquin Businesses Punished for Alcohol Sales to Minors

All three businesses were fined, and two also had their liquor licenses suspended for four days, after beer was sold to minors during May 24 compliance checks by Algonquin police.

The Algonquin Liquor Commission handed down penalties to three Algonquin businesses that sold alcohol to minors during recent police compliance checks.

The compliance checks were conducted on May 24 and in each of the three cases, a cashier sold beer to someone younger than 21.

The , 490 S. Randall Road; Algonquin Food and Liquor, 1117 S, Main St.; and , 1400 E. Algonquin Road were each found to be in violation of their liquor licenses during the compliance checks and appeared for hearings before the liquor commission Tuesday.

The businesses all faced a maximum penalty of $6,000 in fines and a 180-day liquor license suspension.

The Algonquin Police Department typically conducts alcohol compliance checks every seven months.

“We do take this very seriously,” Village President John Schmitt, who also is a liquor commissioner, said in response to a question on whether past violations eventually could be erased from a business’s record. “As long as I’m sitting in this seat, it’s going to continue to be an exponentially larger penalty each time you are in violation.”

Here are the circumstances surrounding each violation and the penalties handed down during the Tuesday hearing:

, 490 S. Randall Road

What happened: The cashier asked for a driver's license but when she entered the date of birth into the computer system, she mistakenly entered the buyer’s year of birth as 1919 instead of 1991, Dean Hutson, director of the in Algonquin, told the Algonquin Liquor Commission Tuesday.

Thinking the person was older than 21, she then sold a six-pack of Bud Light to a minor during the May 24 compliance check.

Penalty: As part of an agreement reached with Algonquin's Police Chief Russell Laine, Hutson pleaded guilty to the liquor license violation, which was a first offense for the .

The liquor commission ordered him to pay a $1,000 fine and to require every employee who has not completed the police department’s BASSET training to do so.

Algonquin Food and Liquor, 1117 S. Main St.

What happened: The cashier asked for a driver’s license but then mistook the person’s date of birth and ended up selling a six-pack of Bud Light to a minor, Algonquin Food and Liquor Co-Owner Kripesh Patel told the liquor commission Tuesday.

The violation was Algonquin Food and Liquor’s second offense — the first offense occurred in 2008. The cashier had not completed the police department’s BASSET training.

Penalty: As part of an agreement reached with Chief Laine, Algonquin Food and Liquor pleaded guilty to the violation and was ordered by the liquor commission to pay $3,000 in fines and have all employees complete BASSET training who have not yet done so.

The commission also suspended the business’s liquor license for four days. Algonquin Food and Liquor is barred from selling alcohol from July 9 to July 12.

, 1400 E. Algonquin Road

What happened: Paul Butera, co-owner of , told the liquor commission Tuesday that a man working at his store checked the driver’s license during the compliance check but then entered his birthdate into the computer system instead of the date of birth of the underage individual.

He sold a six-pack of Bud Light to the minor. Butera also added that the man since has been fired because of this. Reading from a statement, Butera apologized for the incident. This was the second offense for — the first offense occurred in 2008.

Penalty: pleaded guilty and the liquor commission imposed a $2,000 fine and ordered to make sure all employees have completed BASSET training.

also had its liquor license suspended for four days, from July 9 through July 12, when it will be barred from selling alcohol.

Dennis June 28, 2012 at 12:30 PM
"barred from selling alcohol from July 9 to July 12." WOW, that is rough! Why not July 1 to July 5? Lose out on the big sales and maybe you will be more careful.. Looks to me that the village did not want them to lose the big bucks because of the resulting loss of tax revenue..
Scott B June 28, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Something is not right because the under 21 drivers licenses are vertical, not horizontal like the over 21 licenses. The under 21 license also has a red banner next to the pictures that states "under 21 until xx-xx-xx". I guess I am confused how a clerk could misidentify this.
Amie Schaenzer (Editor) June 28, 2012 at 02:03 PM
Hi Scott, this was definitely brought up at the meeting—the differences in appearance between the two licenses. Some of the businesses said they even had photos near the cash register showing the differences between the licenses as a reminder but the alcohol was still sold.

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