Kremmling board dismayed by alcohol violations | SkyHiNews.com

Kremmling board dismayed by alcohol violations

Will Bublitz
Sky-Hi Daily News

The Kremmling Town Board reacted with groans of dismay and calls for action at its Wednesday night meeting after learning that half of the town’s liquor-licensed businesses were caught selling or serving alcohol to minors.

In a report to the trustees, Kremmling Police Chief Scott Spade said that of the town’s 10 businesses licensed to serve or sell alcohol, five had violated the law by serving or selling alcohol to individuals who were under the age of 21 during the compliance checks held last weekend.

“This is ridiculous,” Spade said. He described these latest violations as “a slap of the face” of his department because these businesses had been warned prior to the checks as well as being offered TIPS training to teach those businesses’ employees how to check for underage customers.

The compliance checks were part of the county-wide checks conducted by law enforcement officers April 11-12 (see related article, page 2).

In his report, Spade told the trustees that eight of the town’s 10 liquor-licensed businesses had actually been checked last weekend. The two other businesses were not open when the checks were conducted.

What made the results of these latest checks even more disturbing, Spade explained, is that the number of businesses caught in violation of the law actually rose from the county’s last compliance checks. During the checks performed in December, three of Kremmling’s 10 liquor-licensed businesses were issued court summons for serving alcohol to minors.

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One of the five businesses found in violation in the April compliance checks was a repeat offender. The Quarter Circle Saloon had also been cited for violating the law in December.

In addition to all of this disturbing news, the town board was embarrassed to learn that Kremmling Westend Liquor, which was one of the businesses caught during last weekend’s compliance checks, was the same business whose liquor license renewal they had just approved a few minutes earlier in Wednesday night’s meeting.

Spade explained the renewal of Kremmling Westend Liquor’s license was presented because the application and other supporting documents were all found to be in compliance and submitted prior to last weekend’s checks.

After listening to Spade’ report, the town’s mayor and trustees reacted with a combination of disappointment and anger at the violators and demands for action to remedy the situation.

“I’m appalled by this,” said Mayor Tom Clark. “We need to crack down.”

Clark raised the possibility of “shutting them down for 30 days” or revoking liquor licenses of businesses found to be in violation.

Trustee Mike Music agreed, saying that “something had to be done to fix the problem.”

“These businesses need to know that we’re serious,” said Trustee Isaac Schonlau.

Mayor Clark directed Town Manager Ted Soltis and Police Chief Spade to look at “possible options” that could be used in handling businesses who continue to fail the compliance checks.

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