The Twin Lakes Village Board changed tactics on regulating alcohol sales at convenience stores and supermarkets Monday and opted not to change hours but toughen up penalties instead.
Earlier this month, the board had discussed changing its Class A liquor license selling hours to ending at 9 p.m. for beer and hard liquor. Current Class A (stores) selling hours end at 9 a.m. for hard liquor and midnight for beer.
Police Chief Dale Racer said the change was recommend by state Department of Revenue agents who were in the village in August following up on complaints. The change would have made Twin Lakes store liquor selling hours closer to surrounding municipalities.
But Trustee Kevin Fitzgerald earlier this month and again Monday questioned the move. Monday he said he saw it as misguided because it was punishing law-abiding businesses for the sake of punishing a violator.
Instead, Fitzgerald suggested increasing penalties.
“We don’t have much in our quiver … and the business apparently knows this,” Fitzgerald said. “If we change it from a BB gun to a howitzer than they’ll get the message.”
The current penalty is a fine up to $500 per violation, but the actual amount is up to the discretion of the municipal judge, Racer said.
After some discussion, a consensus to try a stiffer penalty — and consideration of pulling the license of violators — was settled on and the ordinance change with the new hours was dropped. Village administrator Jennifer Pollitt will present the new penalty structure at a future meeting.