Dayton Smith's could lose liquor license

The biggest grocery store in Dayton could be fined or have its liquor license suspend or revoked Thursday by the Lyon County Board of Commissioners.

Smith's Food & Drug grocery store, 2200 Highway 50 East, was cited for selling alcohol to minors working with the sheriff's department in March and November 2008 and March this year, Sgt. Bryan Parsons said.

Parsons said this is the first time in the 12 years he's been with the county sheriff's department that he's seen a business face losing its liquor license for sales to minors.

A minor will sometimes use a police-provided license of a person over age 21, he said, but it won't trick anyone checking the license closely.

"A reasonable person should be able to look at these licenses and tell that's not the person on the ID," he said.

Smith's Manager Justin Fletcher referred questions to the grocery store chain's corporate office in Salt Lake City. Corporate representatives could not be reached for comment.

Businesses that sell alcohol to minors three times in a year must face the possibility of losing their license under county code, Sheriff Allen Veil said.

He said he will probably recommend suspending the license.

"What we want to do is get their attention and say this a serious matter and you need to better train your employees," he said.

Veil said he's working on changing the liquor license code so a business faces lighter penalties before losing its license.

The sheriff's department tests county businesses on liquor sales about twice a month.

"Bottom line, we want them to know we're serious," he said.

But revoking the liquor license of a business that important to Dayton is too much, said Commissioner Larry McPherson.

He said a fine would probably be the best punishment.

"That's an awful lot of business lost if they did revoke their license," he said.

WHAT: Lyon County Board of Commissioners meeting

WHEN: 9 a.m. Thursday

WHERE: 27 S. Main St., Yerington

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