SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Twelve Savannah businesses failed an operation by Savannah Police’s Alcohol Beverage Compliance Unity into underage alcohol sales this month.
During the operation, which ran from July 24-26, underage people visited 23 businesses to see if they complied with Georgia alcohol sales laws.
Out of the 23 businesses SPD looked into officers tell News 3 The Five Spot passed with flying colors. They hope other restaurants will start checking ID every time.
“You know they trust our bar staff to recognize the signs,” said Asa Roberts, a manager at The 5 Spot.
Whether you want your drink on the rocks or with a side of lime bartenders need to see ID.
“It depends on the restaurant and the leadership in the restaurant and the ownership of the restaurant,” said Roberts. “And how much they want to stress the importance of that because it becomes a liability issue.”
Last year, officials updated a city ordinance, making bar owners, not employees, responsible for who they serve.
Roberts takes that responsibility very seriously.
“Each employee has a certification whether it’s through Serve safe or Tips there’s a number of them out here,” said Roberts. “They have to go through the certification and we actually keep a copy of that certification.”
Savannah Police Lieutenant Shinita Young, the officer leading the undercover operations, said compliance checks happen monthly. Some months are better than others.
“I was hoping that we’d get 100 percent. That is our goal that everyone comes into compliance,” said Young. “The problem, I’m thinking, is just complacency sometimes.”
That’s why business owners who fail are required to sit down with officers and go over training protocols.
“We’ve come into contact with owners that say our undercover officers look 40 years of age,” said Young. “They say we are not going to card them but they are actually selling to our minors.”
Business managers at establishments that did not check IDs or sold alcohol to minors were notified and will be fined.
For a first offense, businesses must pay a minimum $500 fine. If the second offense is within one year of the first, a $750 fine is to be paid. A third offense results in a $1,000 fine, and anything more than that could result in the business getting its alcohol license revoked.
The following businesses failed and were cited:
- Screamin’ Mimi’s, 513 E. Oglethorpe Ave.
- Southbound Taphouse, 460 Airways Ave.
- Kiosk Bar, 460 Airways Ave.
- PGA Tour, 460 Airways Ave.
- Hilton Garden Inn, 80 Clyde Martin Drive
- Fairfield Inn and Suites Historic District, 135 Martin Luther King Blvd.
- Asian River, 318 Mall Blvd., Suite 500 B
- Hahot Mongolian Grill, 7312 Hodgson Memorial Drive
- The Brier Haus, 513 E. Oglethorpe Ave.
- Blowin’ Smoke, 1611 Habersham St.
- Habersham Red and White, 4607 Habersham St.
- El Cheapo #19, 401 E. Montgomery Crossroads
The following businesses passed and will receive a letter of congratulations:
- Flying Monk, 5 W. Broughton St.
- Chu’s Bay Inc., 1336 W. Bay St.
- Shell, 294 Crossroads Parkway
- Chevron, 147 Martin Luther King Blvd.
- Squirrel’s Pizza, 2218 Bull St.
- Savannah Seafood Shack, 116 E. Broughton St.
- Bay Street Blues, 17 E. Bay St.
- The Chromatic Dragon, 514 Martin Luther King Blvd.
- Five Spot, 4430 Habersham St.
- Rite Aid #11846, 4600 Habersham St.
- Korea Garden, 20 W. DeRenne Ave.