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County may relax misdemeanor penalty for food/beverage servers

POSTED: July 25, 2014 12:05 a.m.
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Forsyth County is considering a change to the ordinance that prevents someone convicted of some misdemeanor offenses from securing a license to sell or serve alcohol. The revised measure would carry punishment, albeit not as harsh.

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CUMMING — Food and beverage servers convicted of a misdemeanor could soon face less severe consequences.

During a work session Tuesday, Forsyth County commissioners voted 5-0 to move forward with a change to the ordinance that prevents someone convicted of some misdemeanor offenses from securing a license to sell or serve alcohol. The revised measure would carry punishment, albeit not as harsh.

As it stands, those convicted cannot secure a license for five years. However, commissioners want to reduce that time frame to a year.

County Attorney Ken Jarrard said the current measure pertains specifically to misdemeanors “involving moral turpitude.”

“[These] are misdemeanors involving character or trustworthiness,” he said. “Things like misdemeanor fraud, where you are in trouble because of lying.”

After some discussion, commissioners agreed a five-year prohibition was too long.

“I think any kind of misdemeanor, the penalty is no more than a year … on the actual offense,” said Commissioner Todd Levent.

Added Commissioner Pete Amos: “Five years is almost like a sentence.”

Commissioner Jim Boff noted that an 18-year-old convicted of a misdemeanor offense would not be able to re-enter the restaurant field until age 23.

Two public hearings, neither of which have been set, are required before any such change to county code takes place.

 

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