Prince Frederick, MD—Six of Calvert Countys liquor stores and restaurants sold alcohol to minors last month, as discovered by Project DART, (Drug and Alcohol Risk Takers), an underage drinking enforcement effort. The liquor store compliance checks are conducted routinely, and will continue as part of a three-pronged enforcement program to address underage drinking concerns in Calvert County. The six establishments were fined and had their liquor licenses suspended, after their hearings were conducted by the Countys Liquor Board in early September. The penalties ranged between $500.00 and $1000.00 fines and were combined with three to thirty day suspensions of the establishments liquor license.
The following establishments were cited:
- Catamarans Restaurant 14470 Solomons Island Road, Solomons, Maryland
- The Badfish Dock Bar and Grille, 120 Charles Street, Solomons, Maryland
- Red Hot and Blue, 680 North Prince Frederick Boulevard, Prince Frederick, Maryland
- Southern Liquors, 13318 H.G. Trueman Rd, Solomons, Maryland
- Lusby Liquors, 11810 Rousby Hall Road, Lusby, Maryland
- Peking Restaurants, 3801 Chesapeake Beach Road, Chesapeake Beach, Maryland
Local crash statistics document that underage drivers are more frequently involved in alcohol or drug impaired crashes than any other age driver, and hurt themselves, someone else in their vehicle, or other roadway users nearly half the time.
In addition to the liquor stores compliance checks, enforcement efforts have been directed to teens that purchase alcohol using false identification, as well as those using drugs and alcohol at parties. Since school started in late August, two enforcement efforts conducted at parties netted thirty alcohol citations and three CDS arrests. Twenty-seven of the citations were issued to juveniles under the age of eighteen.
The last phase of the enforcement effort will be directed at adults that provide alcohol to teens. Undercover officers will be conducting surveillance on liquor stores, watching for situations known as shoulder-taps, where young people approach adults and request that they make their purchase. They will also be watching for underage persons attempting to purchase alcohol using fake IDs.
In addition, investigating Deputies will determine who provided the teens with the alcohol, and adults will be cited as well. Most often, its a parent, older sibling or a friend that is willing to make the purchase, usually with the restriction that its fine for them to drink as long as the teens stay over after the party. Theyll even take the keys so the teen cant leave. Unfortunately, states Cpl. Tony Moschetto of the Calvert County Sheriffs Office with the prevalence of binge drinking, when the teen wakes up the next morning, they are still drunk. Citizens can report underage drinking parties to the Calvert County Sheriffs Office Crime Solvers Tips Line at (410) 535-2888.
New DUI laws directed to reducing impaired crashes by teens and adults under twenty-one years of age take effect on October 1. The first DUI arrest can result in a one-year suspension of driving privileges. The penalty increases to two years with the second DUI violation. For more information, please contact Debbie Jennings, Coordinator, Calvert County Traffic Safety Council at (410) 535-2200.