By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great local journalism.
Board to decide fate of alcohol violators
Four businesses, servers cited in Feb. 6 operation
Placeholder Image
Forsyth County News
Since passing amendments to the alcohol ordinance last year, commissioners heard the first hearings for underage alcohol sales Thursday.

Those in violation of underage sales must now appear before the board, which will decide the fate of their alcohol server license.

“The reason we modified this was to put some teeth in it with respect to the server,” County Attorney Ken Jarrard said.

Server and alcohol licensee cases were heard and handled separately.

Four businesses and their employees were cited during a Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office sting operation Feb. 6. Three of the hearings took place Thursday. The other, for Fajita Mexican Grill, was postponed to April 15.

Two servers who appeared were each given a 30-day suspension of their individual alcohol license by a 5-0 board vote.

Both servers pled guilty in Magistrate Court and already paid a $675 fine.

“I have learned my lesson,” said Wal-Mart Supercenter employee Nakeya Barber. “[The] $675 was not worth not asking for an ID.”

John Schmidt, who had been serving at Black Diamond Grill, said in the future, he would “be like a hawk checking IDs.”

Freddy Cabrera, who did not attend his hearing and was fired from El Porton Mexican Restaurant, had not paid his Magistrate Court fine and had a bench warrant issued for his arrest.

The board ruled 5-0 to revoke his alcohol license.

Commissioners had some disagreements as to a proper sanction for the businesses.

Black Diamond Grill received a warning and a requirement to have all employees complete alcohol training within 30 days by a 4-1 vote, with Commissioner Jim Harrell opposed.

The restaurant is in Commissioner Brian Tam’s district so he made the suggestion for a warning and training.

“You understand that you could lose your license, and I understand that if that happens, you’ll probably go out of business,” Tam said to the business owner.

The following two cases were in Harrell’s district, who recommended a 7-day suspension of the business’s license.

The board compromised at a 3-day suspension on a consecutive Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday for Wal-Mart Supercenter and El Porton Mexican Restaurant. Harrell and Tam opposed the measure.

“We as a board are ... trying to send a message to those businesses in Forsyth County that are selling alcohol that we will not tolerate sales to minors,” Chairman Charles Laughinghouse said.