An announcement by Citrus County Sheriff's Office on social media early Wednesday morning reveals that multiple businesses in Homosassa and Crystal River are not in compliance with Florida's local Tobacco and Beverage Laws — and were caught selling alcohol to minors.
"Detectives from Citrus County Sheriff's Office and state investigators from the Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco (ABT) teamed up for an enforcement effort ensuring establishments adhere to their licensure." the 9:59 am Facebook post reads, in part.
Earlier this month, Officers and the ABT sent in undercover and underage patrons to 21 random establishments across Citrus County. While the majority passed their secret test with flying colors, a handful did not; four to be exact.
Single misdemeanor citations for selling to minors were issued to the Brothers Pizza on Gulf to Lake Highway in Crystal River, as well as Strickland's Convenience Store in Homosassa.
Joe Elders Coney Island in Crystal River received 2 violations; one for a 17-year-old employee that sold to the minor. According to Florida Statute 562.13, only employees 18 or older can sell alcohol as a part of their work duties, resulting in the second citation being issued to the manager for the employee's violation.
However, not all breaches in compliance occurred as a result of selling to a minor. Florida Cracker Monkey Bar & Kitchen in Homosassa received an administration violation of Florida Statute 562.12 by selling a "to-go" cocktail and allowing the individual to walk off the premises where the consumption of the beverage is licensed.
“The sale of alcohol and tobacco to minors is irresponsible and preventable just by a simple check of an identification card,” said Sheriff Mike Prendergast. “I am proud of those establishments that follow the law and do their part to help keep our community safe. We will continue to work with our colleagues at the Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco to conduct these compliance checks throughout the year.”
The full list of locations not in compliance are as follows:
- Brothers Pizza — 6746 W. Gulf to Lake Hwy, Crystal River
- Joe Elders Coney Island — 674 NE 5th Street, Crystal River
- Strickland’s Convenient Store — 5378 S. Cherokee Way, Homosassa
- Florida Cracker Monkey Bar & Kitchen — 5297 S. Cherokee Way, Homosassa
The below establishments did operate in compliance with their licensure, receiving no citations:
- Copp Winery — 7855 W. Gulf To Lake Hwy, Crystal River
- La Casita Mexican Restaurant — 773 NE 5th Street, Crystal River
- Wawa — 505 US Hwy 19, Crystal River
- Oysters Restaurant — 606 NE US Hwy 19, Crystal River
- Crystal River Shell — 639 639 NE US Hwy 19, Crystal River
- Bubbaques BBQ — 631 N. Citrus Ave., Crystal River
- Kane’s Cattle Company — 508 N. Citrus Ave., Crystal River
- Norton’s Riverside — 16 NE 5th Street, Crystal River
- Taps and Caps Pub — 3782 W. Gulf to Lake Hwy, Lecanto
- Lecanto Food Mart — 3761 W. Homosassa Trl., Lecanto
- Blowin Smoke — 3772 W. Gulf to Lake Hwy, Lecanto
- Rocco’s Café — 6612 Gulf to Lake Hwy, Crystal River
- Sugar Mill Liquor — 2351 US-19, Crystal River
- Beef O’ Bradys — 6738 W. Gulf to Lake Hwy, Crystal River
- Los Magueye’s Mexican Restaurant — 6875 W. Gulf to Lake Hwy, Crystal River
- Sunoco — 6971 W. Gulf to Lake Hwy, Crystal River
- Race Trac — 3861 S. Suncoast Blvd., Homosassa
Looking to stay up to date on law-enforcement happenings in Citrus County? You can follow the Citrus County Sheriff's Office on Facebook here or Instagram here.
Article by Rachael Volpe
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