Rosemount Liquor gets its choice of penaltiesThe five members of the Rosemount City Council take regulating liquor and keeping it out of the hand of minors seriously.
The five members of the Rosemount City Council take regulating liquor and keeping it out of the hand of minors seriously. So when Rosemount Liquor received its third violation in 36 months for selling to a minor the council decided it needed to send a message.
While an independent hearing officer recommended the council require the purchase of software and a stayed 21-day penalty as punishment, the council decided to be a little more hard nosed.
Police chief Gary Kalstabakken recommended the council impose harsher penalties than those recommended by the hearing officer.
The council has given Rosemount Liquor two penalty options. Included in both are suspension days for which the store will have to close.
The first option is to install software that would ensure every customer has their identification checked upon buying alcohol. In addition the business would pay a $1,500 fine and receive a 21 day suspension. Six of the 21 days have to be served while the other 15 will be stayed. If Rosemount Liquor fails another compliance check within 24 months it will have to serve the additional suspension days.
If the store decides not to buy the software, it will have to pay a $1,500 fine and serve a 10-day suspension immediately. Again 11 days will be stayed as long as there are no other violations within 24-months.
Before the council decided on its action Steve Gawron, an attorney representing Rosemount Liquor owners Sean Schumacher and Charlie Christ, asked the council to follow the hearing officers recommendations and not impose any suspension days. If the council did not want to follow the officer’s recommendations, Gawron asked the council to consider giving the business the opportunity to address the council.
“Our belief is that the findings should be accepted,” Gawron told the council.
Council members rejected the request.
Mayor Bill Droste said he was irritated the council had to deal with the issue again. He added that giving Rosemount Liquor less punishment for its third offense then it did for its second offense made no sense.
Kim Shoe-Corrigan showed little sympathy, saying that to protect the community and the kids in it the council needed to set a clear standard.
Council member Phil Sterner spoke in favor of following the arbiter’s recommendations, saying it would be the most professional way to approach the situation.
Rosemount Liquor violated the state’s law on selling to minors on Feb. 23, 2006, Nov. 22, 2006 and on April 24, 2008. A fourth offense on March 24, 2005 was thrown out because it was beyond the city’s 36-month look back period.
Rosemount Liquors will have until the next council meeting to decide what it wants to do. During Wednesday night’s meeting, Gawron indicated the store is already looking into buying the required software.
Rosemount Liquor is not the only business in town facing a third violation. Applebee’s Grill and Bar also failed a compliance check in April. The restaurant has asked for an independent hearing as well.
Rosemount police complete compliance checks once a year. If a business fails the department will usually do an additional check. Rosemount Liquor and Applebee’s will be checked again sometime this year.
For a first offense businesses receive a $500 fine. For a second offense the penalty is a $1,000 fine and a three day suspension.