By DAN DEARTH
9:59 AM EST, December 19, 2012
Next Dimensions Dining & Catering near Funkstown has been fined $500 for allowing customers to consume alcohol at the business while its liquor license was inactive.
The Board of License Commissioners for Washington County, known as the liquor board, voted 3-0 to impose the fine during a Wednesday hearing.
“In this case, the board feels that a fine would be a proper deterrent so it doesn’t happen again, rather than suspend the license or revoke the license,” liquor board Secretary William Dunham said.
Next Dimensions’ liquor license has been held by the liquor board since April because the business at 132 Old National Pike owes an unspecified amount of taxes, liquor board Administrative Assistant Kelly Carr said after the hearing.
Mary Hoffman, who co-owns Next Dimensions with Bradley Sheldon, told the liquor board that she knew the license was inactive, but she believed customers could consume alcohol if they brought their own.
“We weren’t selling any alcohol, and our clients weren’t selling any alcohol,” Hoffman said. “That has been my understanding, so, you know, they were welcome to bring their own, but it could not be sold on the premises.”
According to state law, people can consume alcohol at a licensed establishment only if the alcohol is sold there.
A woman testified that Next Dimensions informed South Hagerstown High School alumni that they could bring their own alcohol to the business for a reunion last month.
She said the reunion went on as planned and alcohol was consumed.
“It was our understanding that we could bring our own beverages, and we did,” the woman said.
Dunham said Next Dimensions had 30 days to pay the fine or appeal it at Washington County Circuit Court.
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