A-Mart hit with three-day liquor license suspension after 2nd violation

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This story has been modified to correct the length of the suspension threatened by the Licensing Board during July's hearing.

PITTSFIELD — A-Mart will be unable to sell liquor for three days in January after the shop sold alcohol to an 18-year-old.

The city's Licensing Board voted unanimously on Monday to suspend the license from Jan. 7 through Jan. 9.

The violation, which was reported by state officials, came while the store was on probation for selling alcohol to a drunk customer in May.

While board members said they had been heartened by recent improvements in store policies, they agreed to stand by their previous promise to suspend the license if there were additional violations.

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"And that's out of fairness to everybody," said board member Dina Guiel.

The board held a violation hearing regarding the previous incident in July, and officials said that within days of the hearing, the shop served an underaged costumer during a sting conducted by the state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission.

During the July hearing, board members told A-Mart's management they would not be punished for serving a drunk customer if there were no other violations within a six-month window. In the event of a subsequent infraction, board members said at the time, the store's license would be suspended for three days.

Since the July violation, store managers have enacted a new policy that gives bonuses to employees without violations.

The store also now requires all employees receive TIPS training, a national program that promotes the responsible sale of alcohol by building the "people skills" necessary to avoid intoxication, underage drinking and drunken driving.

Amanda Drane can be contacted at adrane@berkshireeagle.com, @amandadrane on Twitter, and 413-496-6296.


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