5 Glenwood restaurants caught selling alcohol to minors
Ismael Argueta, owner of Taqueria el Nopal II, had a new server working last Saturday night, when Glenwood Springs Police sent in two teenagers to try to buy alcohol. The server didn’t ask for the teens’ ID, and soon, she found herself with a ticket. Taqueria el Nopal II was one of five Glenwood Springs restaurants that were put on notice this week for selling alcohol to minors. Glenwood Police, with the help of some teenagers and state liquor enforcement officers, tested whether servers would check ID cards of customers ordering alcohol at 19 local bars and restaurants last Saturday night. The offending servers at the five restaurants were ticketed, said Glenwood Police Chief Terry Wilson. “They have to go to court, and the range of fines and penalties plays out in the courtroom for them,” he said. Teens were served alcohol on Saturday at Fiesta Guadalajara, the restaurant in the Ramada Inn, Oasis Bar and Restaurant, the 19th Street Diner and Taqueria el Nopal II.Many servers who dispense alcohol at each restaurant go through an extensive responsible serving class. “It’s not fathomable for me to think people were serving out of a complete lack of understanding that (customers) need to be 21” to be served alcohol, Wilson said. “Some people get lazy, complacent about it.”He called five offending establishments out of 19 “definitely not a good percentage.”Fiesta Guadalajara manager Jorge Gonzales said the offending server was new and nervous. When the two teens working for police ordered beer, the server filled the glasses and set them on the table. The server had planned to ask for ID after the beer was on the table, but police nabbed the server before he could card the teens. “He was thinking about carding them,” Gonzales said. “He knew that it is not the right thing to do. He was just very busy, very nervous. He was very sorry.”Argueta also said his server was new, but she knew she had to take ID. She was taking the responsible serving class Thursday morning, Argueta said. “I do everything I can to put the law first in my position,” he said. Spokesmen for the other offending restaurants were unavailable to comment for this story. Wilson said liquor law compliance checks such as the one conducted Saturday are “very sporadic.”All the people necessary to conduct a check were available Saturday, and police took the opportunity to do a more extensive check than normal, he said. Contact Bobby Magill: 945-8515, ext. firstname.lastname@example.org
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