Six businesses in Arlington Heights were fined or had their liquor licenses temporarily suspended as punishment for selling alcohol to minors.
The hearings, held Monday, were the result of annual summer enforcement checks, where underage agents working with Arlington Heights police tried to buy alcohol in 97 different establishments.
In all, 94.9 percent of the businesses did not sell alcohol to minors. That's the same compliance rate as 2011, but up from 89.1 percent in 2010, police said.
The strongest sanction was given to Javier's, 8 W. Miner St., which will have to cease liquor sales for a seven-day period sometime in the next two months, though it'll be able to remain open and sell food during that time.
On July 30, 2012, an employee at Javier's sold a frozen margarita to an 18-year-old working with the police department, even though the server asked for the minor's ID and saw that she was not 21, said village prosecutor Ernest Blomquist. This was the third offense for Javier's in the past decade.
"Three violations in a decade is unacceptable, as an owner you have responsibility for your employees," said Village President Arlene Mulder, who also is the village liquor commissioner..
Javier's was also fined $1,000 plus court costs and will have to tell the village which week it will have its license suspended.
Red Rooster Liquors, 827 N. Wilke Road, will have its liquor license suspended for two days of the owner's choosing during the next month after pleading guilty to a second violation of selling alcohol to a minor within a year. It was fined $600 plus court costs.
JD's Q and Brew, 284-298 W. Rand Road, also had its second offense in a year but was able to show the village that significant changes had been made and was granted a reduced penalty.
Larry Berg, attorney for the owners, said several management and service employees were fired over the incidents and further training had been required for employees. The restaurant was fined $400 plus court costs for the violation.
La Roca Tapas, 6 S. Dunton, was fined $300 plus court costs after underage agents were sold wine without being asked for ID. It was the first offense for the restaurant, which opened only a few months prior, Blomquist said.
Meg's Liquors, 1041 S. Arlington Heights Road, received a lesser penalty because it was the first offense for selling to a minor and because the owner Magdalena Gasior showed Mulder several ways she had changed the ID checking process to make sure it didn't happen again. She was fined $200 plus court costs for the violation.
Golf Liquor, 606 E. Golf Road, passed its regular compliance check, but police later got a tip and sent the underage agents back. A 19-year-old then was sold a six-pack of beer without being asked for ID, Blomquist said. Because it was the first offense for the store, owners were fined $400 plus court costs for the violation.
Mulder said she takes liquor violations very seriously.
"Every sale to a minor could end in the death of that minor or of someone else," she said.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.