A Richmond hotel and liquor store has been fined $7,000, after it sold alcohol to an 18-year-old liquor branch agent.
The Steveston Hotel, which is joined to the Buck & Ear pub on Third Avenue in Steveston, sold the liquor to the agent working for the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB).
A branch hearing last month heard how a liquor inspector went into the hotel’s liquor store in March, posing as a customer, followed shortly by the teenage agent.
It was then that the sale of the alcohol to the minor was witnessed, resulting from the store clerk not asking the teenager for any proof of age.
The store, hotel and the adjoining pub are all owned and operated by the Joseph Richard Group, which has multiple hospitality outlets throughout the Lower Mainland.
The hearing was told that the store licensee was not disputing that the sale to the minor took place.
But the licensee argued a defence of “due diligence,” with a threat of its license being suspended on top of a possible $7,000 to $11,000 fine.
In his decision, the LCRB’s general manager acknowledged that the licensee had taken reasonable steps to ensure compliance, had provided adequate staff training and that proper signage was visible in the store with regard to customers having to be at least 19 to buy alcohol.
The LCRB, in its decision, fined the hotel and liquor store the minimum $7,000 but stopped short of a suspension.
The store will have to display the notice of the fine prominently.