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Violation Forces Central Avenue Grill to Temporarily Suspend Alcohol Sales

on March 11, 2012 - 2:44pm

By Carol A. Clark

Central Avenue Grill Owner Monica Park in front of her Central Avenue restaurant Friday. Courtesy Photo

An alcohol compliance sweep by agents from the Special Investigations Division (SID) of the Department of Public Safety resulted in two local violations.

Servers at Central Avenue Grill in downtown Los Alamos and Phillips 66 in White Rock sold to underage operatives on the evening of Jan. 4.

“Katrina Butler at Central Avenue Grill and Casey Christiansen at Phillips 66 were cited for selling alcohol to minors. They will receive felony referrals to the District Attorney’s Office, which decides whether to pursue charges against them,” said Lt. Chris Ortiz of SID’s Albuquerque office.

Butler 22, and Christiansen, 36, face up to $500 in fines, a 30-day suspension of their server’s license, or both for a first offense of selling alcohol to a minor. Penalties for a second offense include up to $500 in fines, a one year suspension of their server’s license, or both. A third offense could include permanent revocation of their license to serve alcohol.

Any violation of the Liquor Control Act may result in fines to the violating establishment of up to $10,000, suspension or revocation of its license or both.  

Central Avenue Grill has had a previous violation involving serving alcohol to minors.

“The restaurant was forbidden to serve alcohol for a 24-hour period on March 7,” Ortiz said. “They could remain open for business and serve food but their license to serve alcohol was suspended for 24 hours.”

No one was available to comment on the violations from either establishment.

The Alcohol and Gaming Division has established a uniform fine schedule, but penalties may be enhanced on a case by case basis, according to its website.

  • Sale to intoxicated person first offense: $1,000 to $2,000 fine and one day suspension of alcohol sales
  • Second offense within 12 month period: $2,000 to $3,000 fine and seven days suspension of alcohol sales
  • Three or more offenses within 12 months” $10,000 and revocation of the liquor license
  • Sale to a minor first offense: $1,000 to $2,000 and one day suspension of alcohol sales
  • Second offense within 12 month period: $2,000 to $3,000 and seven days suspension of alcohol sales
  • Three or more offenses within 12 months $10,000 and revocation of the liquor license

Any combination of three offenses involving sales to minors and/or sales to intoxicated persons occurring within a 12 month period shall result in a fine of $10,000 and revocation of the liquor license.

The Special Investigations Division (SID) is a division of the Department of Public Safety. SID Officers have statewide law enforcement jurisdiction and enforce both administrative regulations and criminal codes.

The SID is the designated lead agency for the enforcement of New Mexico’s Liquor Control Act and a major contributor in the state’s effort to reduce DWI.

The division performs a wide range of enforcement and regulatory activities statewide:

  • Premise inspection at licensed liquor establishments
  • Compliance Operations:
    • Underage enforcement operations
    • Tobacco compliance operations
  • Source investigations
  • Investigations into the illegal sales of alcohol to intoxicated persons
  • Financial investigations
  • Undercover operations
  • Training of city and county police officers, community groups and industry employees.
  • Administration of the Concealed Handgun Carry Act

Source: The SID website


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