Angela Swartz/Daily Journal
Millbrae’s Lucky had its liquor license suspended for a 45-day period starting July 7 because of an alcohol sale to a minor.
Lucky Supermarket in Millbrae has gone dry following a 2013 sale of alcohol to a minor.
The store, located at 45 Murchison Drive, had its Alcoholic Beverage License suspended for 45 days for selling alcohol to an underage person. The suspension period began Monday, July 7, according to John Carr, public information officer for the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, or ABC. This is the third time since 2012 that the store has sold alcohol to a minor. The store paid a $3,000 fine for the first sale to minor violation in October 2012 and a $20,000 fine for the second violation in June 2012, Carr added.
“The penalty this time around is 45 days where they cannot sell alcohol, in addition the store is on probation for the next two years and if any similar violations occur, the department has the authority to revoke the license,” Carr said. “This is a stiff penalty.”
The latest violation took place on May 25, 2013 during a routine compliance check — a minor decoy operation. The sales of alcohol cannot occur for the 45-day period, however, the store may stay open to sell other non-alcohol items such as groceries, food, soda and other products, according to Carr.
ABC must write up a report and formally accuse a licensee of violating alcoholic beverage laws, Carr said. The licensee can then challenge ABC’s information and hire legal representation. This case did not go to a hearing, the owners agreed to a 45-day suspension and two years’ probation prior to a public hearing, he added.
“There is due process,” Carr said.
Lucky said it’s worked very closely with ABC authorities to ensure it complies with the 45-day suspension, said Public Affairs Director Alicia Rockwell. Store management is working closely with the corporate compliance team to step up our internal checks and provide ongoing training with front-end employees, she said.
“Our company has a very aggressive training program around alcohol/tobacco compliance,” she wrote in an email. “Store management took immediate action in conducting additional one-on-one refresher training with each team member at this store location. We take this very seriously and will continue to be vigilant in our compliance.”
Each year ABC cites more than a thousand locations in California for selling alcohol to minors. Some businesses are small, some might be perceived as large. ABC doesn’t track the size of the businesses, Carr said.
(650) 344-5200 ext. 105