After 8 violations, Braddock Heights business loses liquor license | Crime & justice

A business that’s been before the Frederick County Liquor Board eight times in 45 years for selling alcohol to minors had its alcohol license revoked last week.

The board unanimously voted 3-0 Feb. 14 to revoke the license for Beachley’s Variety Store at 4602 Old Swimming Pool Road, Frederick. Owner Keith Davis has had the license since 1977.

“This community has had an outcry for many, many years, over 45 years,” board administrator Dawn Shugars said in the virtual meeting.

Davis has the most violations for selling alcohol to minors on record with the Frederick County Liquor Board, according to Shugars.

“Kids know that this is where they can go. It’s very easy to buy alcohol there,” Lt. Andy Crone of the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office told the board.

Crone said FCSO has received seven calls about Beachley’s since 2017. He called the complaints a “grave concern,” and said criminal charges have been filed against Davis.

The Feb. 14 meeting concerned a sale to minors from Nov. 26, 2021. Deputies Brady Parson and Sean Sheehy told the board they were monitoring Beachley’s Nov. 26, 2021, in response to a complaint. From their unmarked patrol vehicles, using binoculars, Parson said they saw three young females enter the store. One girl, later identified to be 16 years old, bought a beer from Davis and was not carded, police said.

The deputies watched the girls get back in their vehicle, followed them, then stopped the car down the road a few miles later for a traffic violation. The deputies said they found alcohol from Beachley’s inside the vehicle.

At the start of the hearing, Davis asked to postpone so he could find an attorney, which the board unanimously denied. Board Chair Debbie Burrell suggested Davis had time to prepare, as he received notice of the violation Jan. 12, 2022.

Davis pleaded not guilty at first, saying he did not know the details of the allegations. After police spoke to what they saw, Davis altered his plea to guilty.

Throughout the hearing, Davis was offered to take additional alcohol education classes or submit to community service. He also said he’d understand there being a fine or a temporary suspension of his license.

Davis is trying to sell his business and said losing his license would be a “great loss.”

“That’s basically my retirement,” Davis said.

Shugars told Davis he had chances to improve, while board member Joan Aquilino said Davis’ apologies and promises sounded quite similar to when he came before the board a year prior for the same offense.

Shugars ran through Davis’ history of selling to minors. He was found to be in violation in 1985, 1987, 1994, 2007, 2015, 2017 and 2021. Those violations resulted in fines ranging from $500 to $1,500, suspensions of various lengths and yearlong probation periods, according to Shugars.

“Obviously, I’m just not doing a good enough job,” Davis said. “I try to card everybody.”

As the hearing approached the sentencing phase, Davis pointedly asked the board how many other license holders had been around as long as him. He suggested others had violations within a shorter amount of time.

“You’ve had yours a long time — long enough to know to be responsible on how to sell alcohol, and not to minors,” Shugars said.

She said the board was under mandatory grounds to either suspend or revoke Davis license, considering the number of violations’ in the period of time. Shugars, who is not a voting member, urged the board to revoke Davis’ license.

“At this point, you’ve given the board no option,” Burrell told Davis. “Public safety must come first, and it is with a hardened heart that we say this today that we vote to revoke your license.”

Follow Mary Grace Keller on Twitter: @MaryGraceKeller


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