By Anna Woodwick
Sun POST Newspapers
Crystal’s Red Dragon Liquors, 5924 West Broadway, has been ordered to pay a $750 fine and suspend sales for one day on March 13 after a liquor license violation in 2012.
The business, which operates under Robert Enterprises Inc., was originally ordered to pay $1,500 and suspend sales for three days at the Feb. 19 council meeting after it received two violations within an 18-month period.
Violations include the illegal sale of liquor after 8 p.m., Dec. 24, 2011, and the sale of liquor to an obviously intoxicated person, June 27, 2012.
During the meeting, Red Dragon Manager Santokh Bir Singh and his lawyer Robert Christensen asked the council to reduce the fine and suspension to a first-time suspension for reasons that included that Singh was not aware of an 8 p.m. closing law on Christmas Eve and that the business has not failed a compliance check since it’s been in business.
“I can tell you that they had no idea this law existed,” Christensen said. “I’m 48-years-old and I had no idea it existed … They’ve passed every compliance check that’s been done that was an underage individual, and they always carded and denied each time. Mr. Singh comes with the attitude that he respects these laws and works very hard to uphold them.”
Mayor Jim Adams told Singh that it was very important to understand that the liquor violations are a serious offense and that it’s a business owner’s job to research and know the laws.
“It’s a responsibility when you have the licenses that you know the laws at state levels and city ordinances,” he said. “It’s your responsibility to know these things.”
Councilmember John Budziszewski said that the letters stating that Red Dragon Liquors has passed compliance checks were impressive and he agreed that though a violation was apparent, the council should treat it as a first offense.
“I think that’s a fair assessment for this case,” he said. “My only concern, Mr. Singh, is your procedure for closing the store. Tell me you will be closed on time, every time.”
Councilmember Mark Hoffmann seconded Budziszewski’s motion telling Singh that with any luck, the council would not see him at another meeting for a violation.
“I think it’s a fair resolution, and we want to be fair with our business owners,” Councilmember Julie Deshler said. “You have to play by the rules and I hope there are no hard feelings.”
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