2007-04-12 / News

Island liquor store cited for underage alcohol sales

By Dotti Farrington

Lt. William Donovan of the Jamestown Police Department reported to council members at Monday night's Town Council meeting that Ilesh Patel, proprietor of Jamestown Wine and Spirits, 30 Southwest Ave., was cited March 26 for sales of an alcoholic beverage to an underage person.

Town Solicitor Peter Ruggiero said no council action was being sought, but the proprietor would be advised that any future violation would make him subject to council action that could include the loss of his license.

The citation is the first publicly reported since November 2005, when police cited employees of three licensees for selling to underage persons. All four cases involved a planned police action to survey local establishments about their selling practices.

"As part of an ongoing effort to curb underage purchases of alcoholic beverages, members of the Jamestown Police Department entered (Patel's store) to conduct an alcoholic beverage purchase check. At that time a person of minority age was allowed to purchase an alcoholic beverage, to wit, a six pack of beer in cans, without being requested to show any identification," Donovan wrote in his report.

State law prohibits the sale of alcoholic beverages to underage persons, he explained.

"Please consider this as formal notice that sales of alcoholic beverages to minors will not be tolerated. Any further violations of this nature will result in an immediate request to the Town Council (as the local alcoholic beverage licensing board) to take punitive action against the liquor license holder," Donovan wrote in his citation to Patel, who purchased the store about a year ago.

In November 2005, Page's liquor, the former license owner, and the town's other liquor store, Grapes and Gourmet, as well as the Narragansett Café, were cited for selling to underage persons without getting proper identification from the police supervised customers.

Councilors at that time summoned the three licensees and told them the violations were serious. The three pledged adherence to the law and to a new policy the council adopted, which states that each establishment develop and maintain a rules and regulations manual for all employees, that all licensees become proactive regarding detection and reporting of purchasing attempts and use of altered or fraudulent identification by underage persons. They must also show proof of successful completion of an alcohol server-training program by employees.

The policy also specified that a first offense would create an offi- cial notice that any further violation would be subject to license review.

Officials at that time specified their goal was compliance, not punitive action.

In a Providence Journal statewide report this week, Barrington was cited as having the highest violation record, 90, in the past six years, according to Family Court records. Court officials suggested the high number represented more enforcement, not necessarily more violations. The court record listed three violations in Jamestown last year, and a total of 11 violations over six years.

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