Smith's keeps liquor license

Lyon County Commissioners decided not to revoke the liquor license of Dayton's largest grocery store.

Smith's Food & Drug grocery store, 2200 Highway 50 East, received no fine or license suspension Thursday for three citations within a year for selling alcohol to minors working with the county sheriff's department.

The commission has only two options under county code " revoke the license completely or don't do anything, said Commissioner Larry McPherson.

The district attorney's office and sheriff's department are working with the commission to change the code, he said. Commissioners need to be able to give a wider range of penalties, he said.

Marsha Gilford, a representative for Salt Lake City-based Smith's Food & Drug Stores Inc., said in a statement, "Smith's takes this matter very seriously, and we have just concluded a retraining of our store associates. It is our intention to comply with the law in every area of our store operations including liquor sales."

The sheriff's department wanted the license suspended. It did not want it to be revoked, however, Sgt. Bryan Parsons said.

Smith's is now working to prevent alcohol sales to minors by checking more identifications and making employees go through two alcohol server training classes, he said.

"Overall, I was happy with their acceptance with what was going on and their willingness to help resolve the issue," he said.

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

Heidi Gesler of Dayton, a mother of two children, said the commission won't make an impression on other businesses without penalizing Smith's.

She said the revocation wouldn't really hurt a business like Smith's, which is owned by grocery store company Kroger Co. But revoking Smith's license would help cut down on teen drinking in Lyon County, however, she said.

"To me it's really frustrating," she said. "What are they really going to do to prevent teens from buying liquor?"

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