Liquor establishments cited for violations |

Liquor establishments cited for violations

by Sheila Gardner

Representatives of two Carson Valley establishments which sell liquor appeared before Douglas County commissioners Thursday to answer for second violations of selling alcohol to minors within two years.

The Carson Valley Market in Minden and 7-Eleven store at Highway 395 and Riverview in the Gardnerville Ranchos were cited by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office after the stores sold to minors during a sting in September.

Commissioners, sitting as the liquor board, had the option of imposing disciplinary action up to temporary suspension of the stores’ liquor licenses.

The board opted to require mandatory training for the stores’ employees offered by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office. It must be completed within 30 days at a cost of $350 to each business.

“We had minors go to several businesses and attempt to purchase alcohol,” Sgt. Jim Halsey told commissioners.

Both businesses sold to the minors, who were supervised by the sheriff’s office. Each business had been cited for similar sales the year before.

In one case, Halsey said, a 16-year-old bought liquor with a phony identification. The minor was 5 feet, 7 inches tall with brown hair and brown eyes and weighed 220 pounds.

The ID indicated the bearer was 30 years old, 6 feet tall with blond hair and blue eyes.

“It was pretty obvious the ID didn’t match the minor,” Halsey said. “We don’t want to see anybody lose business, we just want to make sure people who are selling alcohol are doing it legally.”

Steve Chappell, representing Carson Valley Market owner Mike Pegram, apologized on behalf of the owner.

“He (Pegram) understands it’s critical. Our employees are told to ID everybody who looks under 40,” Chappell said.

In both instances, the employees who sold to minors were charged with an offense, fined, and sentenced to community service.

For a third offense, the businesses could lose their liquor licenses. A second offense requires mandatory training for all employees.

Kenneth Smitreski said the employee at the 7-Eleven did not return to work. He said the company requires mandatory training and conducts its own “sting” operations several times a year.

“This is not something I take lightly,” Smitreski said.

Sheriff Ron Pierini said DCSO had been operating the sting program and offering training to businesses for the past 10 years.

“We have empathy toward the businesses, but the last thing we want is some 16- or 17-year-old dying because they bought alcohol illegally,” Pierini said.