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Peachland's liquor store warned after selling alcohol to a minor

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A liquor store in Peachland got off with a warning after an employee was caught selling alcohol to a minor.

According to a Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch's Oct. 31, decision, the Sunnyside Market avoided a steep fine or suspension of the store's liquor license by showing proper due diligence in the matter of not selling alcohol to minors.

In June 2023, liquor inspectors set up a sting operation and had a minor go into the store and buy a case of cider while an inspector watched the situation unfold from within the store. At no point did the sales clerk ask the minor to provide identification, and the 16-year-old agent got away with buying the alcohol. Moments later, the inspector approached the sales clerk, explained the situation and told them they had just sold alcohol to a minor.

The Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch says a first-time offence should result in a $7,000 to $11,000 fine or a seven to 11-day suspension of the store’s licence. The store was originally presented with this option for a penalty.

Instead, the licensee showed the store has put in place the proper training and policies to avoid this from happening.

After an investigation, the Branch found that the store did provide the proper “culture of compliance commitment to follow the rules” and the blame was put on the employee's over-tiredness at the time of the sale.

In the end, Sunnyside Market will not have to face any fine or suspension and was left with an official warning.

Because the employee had an exemplary history at the market, he was able to keep his job and the licensee has said that he’s been “extremely diligent” since the incident.

If the market was ever caught contravening the Liquor Control and Licensing Act again, then the licensee would face a penalty deemed appropriate by the Branch.

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