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updated: 8/13/2013 2:46 PM

Arlington Heights talks liquor law tweaks

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Arlington Heights is discussing a number of changes to its liquor license restrictions to address violations and inconsistencies in the code.

There had been discussion about requiring people who go through BASSET -- Beverage Alcohol Sellers & Servers Education and Training -- to do so through in-person classes rather than online, but trustees said they didn't see enough evidence that it was the online classes causing liquor violations.

In the past two years there have been five underage violations each during annual compliance checks. Businesses are notified that the checks will go on sometime during a two-month period with underage agents working for the police department attempting to buy alcohol.

So far in 2013, 10 businesses have been caught serving underage patrons. The liquor license hearings for those will be held later this year.

Of the 10 violations so far this year, police said four of them came from people who had in-person BASSET training, while four received it online. The other two were short-term employees who had not yet been required to go through training.

"It's become clear to us that there are some issues with some of our employees in our establishments," said Arlington Heights police Capt. Richard Niedrich.

Another issue addressed was that under current code, packaged-liquor stores require a manager to be BASSET-trained, but not clerks who may be actually selling alcohol. This is an inconsistency from restaurants, where managers and servers are all required to go through the training, Niedrich said.

The board gave staff consensus to work on a change that would require clerks to be held to the same training standards.

"It seems BASSET training is an integral part of what we need to have," Trustee Bert Rosenberg said. "It seems anybody who is selling should have the training."

Rosenberg also brought up the idea of the village either holding or hosting a training for employers in town, which other trustees agreed was a good idea.

The board also discussed possibly regulating BYOB establishments in town, which only have a few restrictions and are not monitored by the village for compliance.

Hayes said there is no way of really knowing how many restaurants in Arlington Heights operate as BYOB because it is not regulated.

Trustees suggested a beer and wine BYOB be allowed after a small fee and administrative approval, but the board will discuss the issue again later with more details.

There may also be changes for some stores in Arlington Heights, such as Walgreens and CVS, which are not allowed to sell alcohol. Trustees said they would like to discuss an option that would eliminate that part of the code and regulate those stores under the same category as grocery stores that also sell alcohol, but it will be voted on at a later date.

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