A North Cowichan liquor store has won an appeal over the B.C. Liquor Branch after an employee sold a six-pack of beer to a minor.
A teenager acting as an undercover agent for the branch purchased beer on May 11, 2011, without being asked for identification.
Beverly Corners Liquor Store Ltd. was charged under the Liquor Control and Licencing Act and fined $7,500.
However, the store’s owners appealed the conviction, and this week, the B.C. Supreme Court sided with the liquor outlet and quashed the charges and fine.
The sting was part of a new program that uses minors, employed by the liquor branch and under supervision of adults, working covertly, Justice Janice Dillon said in her decision, released this week.
The female cashier who sold the liquor to the minor was the supervisor on duty that night and was working her last shift at the store before moving to another province, Dillon said.
“It was a typically busy Wednesday evening, and she planned to leave work early, within a half hour of the controversial sale,” she said.
The cashier had an excellent record.
“She had been observed to faithfully check on young customers who came to her till,” Dillon said. “Her failure to follow policies and training on May 11, 2011, was inexplicable.”
There had never been issues with compliance at Beverly Corners before this incident.
“By all accounts, the policies, manuals, training, procedures, and compliance oversight of Beverly Corners are above standard practice for the industry and go beyond that of most operators,” Dillon said.
The general manager under the Liquor Control and Licencing Act made an error in law in convicting the outlet, Dillon said in setting aside the earlier judgment.
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