UPDATED: Four Hamden Stores Charged With Selling Alcohol to Minors

They'll be facing charges at hearings before the state Liquor Control Commission.

Update, 9/12 2:30 p.m.:

The state Department of Consumer Protection has confirmed the Meadowbrook Spirits did not sell to a minor. It released this statement today:

"Yesterday’s press release from the Department of Consumer Protection erroneously reported that  Meadowbrook Spirits failed last Friday’s compliance check by allegedly selling alcohol to a youth volunteer during  the undercover operation.  Upon verifying the facts with our agents, we have learned that we made a mistake.  The summary report we used to prepare the press release was incorrect. Actually, no sale was made by Meadowbrook Spirits to the youth volunteer and the owner did in fact ask for ID.   Meadowbrook Spirits has passed – not failed -- the compliance check. 

We apologize for our error. "

Update 9:11 4 p.m.:

Editor's Note: Meadowbrook Spirits owner Alex Patel has contacted Hamden Patch to say that his business did not fail the compliance check Friday.

"We have never been busted selling alcohol to a minor," he said. "We try really hard to keep a good name in our community."

State Department of Consumer Protection spokeswoman Claudette Carveth  said her office stands behind the information.

Five Hamden liquor and grocery stores failed Department of Consumer Protection Liqor Control Division compliance checks last Friday and will now have to appear before the state Liquor Commission.

The checks were conducted at 25 stores, where an underage youth trained and provided by the Governor's Prevention Partnership entered each store and tried to purchase alochol.

At 20 of those stores, the youth was denied, but at five they were successfully able to complete the purchase.

The stores which allegedly failed are:

  • , 3300 Whitney Avenue
  • Cork & Barrel, 1648 Whitney Avenue
  • Snack Plus II, 75 Putnam Avenue
  • 2644 State Street

“Compliance operations are consistently useful in helping us identify licensed or permitted locations that are selling alcoholic beverages to minors,” Consumer Protection Commissioner William M. Rubenstein said.

But the compliance checks are not intended to hurt local businesses, he said.

“We don’t try to trick or entice establishments to sell alcoholic beverages to youth,” Rubenstein said. “If asked their age before making a liquor purchase, volunteer youths hand over their actual ID, and tell their true age. Our goal is to find businesses that sell to minors and bring them into compliance with state liquor laws.” 

The five businesses cited in last Friday’s compliance check are charged with allegedly selling liquor to a minor and will appear before the Liquor Control Commission for an administrative hearing, at which time the charges will be addressed.

“Partnering with state and local law enforcement on these checks benefits everyone involved,” Rubenstein said. “I want to express our sincere thanks to the Hamden Police Department for their continuing efforts to reduce underage drinking within their community.”

Ellen Nosel September 11, 2012 at 04:29 PM
Interesting article. I will be sure not to shop at these stores.
Seriously involved parent September 11, 2012 at 05:03 PM
shut them down...what better way to send the message that we are not going to stand for this????
Jason Ruocco September 11, 2012 at 06:02 PM
They will get fined and continue to do business. They prey on liquor stores when the students come back in town. How many bars and stores get raided and get shut down in this town. NONE. Why put someone out of business? You dont know the whole story. Was it busy? Was the undercover agent obviously underage or did they look old enough? Was it the owner or the permitee OR was it some Part time clerk getting minimum wage and has know idea how to figure out the date? Closing stores is not going to reduce underage drinking. Kind of like the war on drugs Hows that working out?
Big Daddy September 11, 2012 at 06:04 PM
How about listing the 20 stores that complied with the law.
Jason Ruocco September 11, 2012 at 06:10 PM
I like that. What were the 20 stores that did the right thing? Build small business , do not try to hurt it. I am not making excuses for the stores that violated the law but we should praise the honest stores following the law,
LOIS JASON September 11, 2012 at 06:26 PM
I agree with JASON. Why make the merchant suffer. They have been made aware that they MUST be more diligent in checking I.D.s....since these stores are listed I am certain the underage will not try them, again. DILIGENCE....
Barbara September 11, 2012 at 06:34 PM
With Quinnipiac students overrunning the area the last thing we need are these students driving drunk
Dan Garrett September 11, 2012 at 07:32 PM
It's Obamas fault.
Alex Patel September 11, 2012 at 07:36 PM
This article has falses information. I am the owner of Meadowbrook Wine and Spirits. We have "never" got busted selling to minors. We are the most strict package store in this or anyother town. We take away all the fake I.D.s and report them to local police department. I was working at my store on the day when Liquor Control Department send a minor girl to buy alcohol. Not only did we not sell it to her but we also took her ID from her. Later that day a police officer came in to get the ID back. Hamden Patch, Please get your facts right.
Thomas Alegi September 11, 2012 at 09:41 PM
No Dan, Hamden is a university town and no one can blame Obama for that, but with time, you will blame republicans somehow for that.
Ted B September 11, 2012 at 10:06 PM
When my kids were in college, the drinking age was 18. Not sure when or why it was raised to 21. And not sure if it has made a difference, sometimes I think making it forbidden fruit makes it more desirable in their eyes. I feel bad for the stores, they aren't selling to minors because they want to, it's bound to happen occasionally, especially in the case of Amity with QU down the street. I go there often and think it's a great store and I hate to see their reputation hurt. Everyone is human and makes mistakes. And yes, I think the state is setting them up. I've been in there often when they have asked young people for ID. They do it all the time.
Kay Mc September 11, 2012 at 10:23 PM
I agree with you, Ted. I shop at Amity often, and I see plenty of young people buying alcohol with an ID. Whether it's a fake or not, I don't know how anyone can tell. But the Quinnipiac students fill up the store, and I'm sure plenty of them have fake IDs.
A1987 September 12, 2012 at 12:59 AM
Liquor stores should just invest in electronic id checking systems... That should help or maybe the state should provide it to the stores since taxes on alcohol and cigarettes are outrageous put the money back into the safety of the community
Alex Patel September 12, 2012 at 01:10 AM
ID Checkers are no use. Fake IDs are so good now a days that it will pass ID checker and black lights too. Kids pay almost $250 for a fake ID. That's why if we spot a fake ID at our store we take it away from them. It's a small lose for them but its better than nothing. State give us tickets and punishments if we make a mistake once but if a minor tries to buy alcohol with a fake ID they do nothing. Doesn't seem fair to me.
Ted B September 12, 2012 at 02:12 AM
If a 18-20 year old kid is caught with a fake ID trying to buy alcohol they should be arrested and charged with not only trying to buy alcohol but also some other kind of charge relating to putting the store in the position of unknowingly breaking the law. They are basically adults and they know better and should face the consequences. And the school they go to should kick them out.
Seriously involved parent September 12, 2012 at 02:02 PM
I think you are right....good for them in complying.
Seriously involved parent September 12, 2012 at 02:09 PM
Jason, do you know the whole story? How hard is it to train staff properly? If they aren't going to take the time, to check IDs, if they aren't going to slow down, even in a rush, to do their job properly how will things get better? Do you have kids that are underage? Do you care about what happens to the kids in this town, do you care that there are 25 liquor stores in this little enough town that there really don't need to be so many? REALLY? If someone wants to open a business they better have it straight from the start or get out of the business. As far as the war on drugs....can you stick to one subject at a time? You tell me? Again, do you have underage kids and what are YOU doing to make sure our children in town are being protected, educated, and have parental involvement to help with the issues they face?
SM September 12, 2012 at 07:47 PM
I'm surprised Amity was on the list. I am 30+ and get carded every single time I shop there.
Bill Johnson September 21, 2012 at 08:29 AM
So what we have here are drug dealers that don't check ID.


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