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State suspends Detroit liquor store for sales to minors

George Hunter
The Detroit News

Detroit — A liquor store in the city has had its license suspended for repeatedly selling alcohol to minors, according to state officials.

The Michigan Liquor Control Commission last week ordered the suspension of the liquor license and permits held by Three Sons Enterprises, the business name of Von’s Express Liquor at 5740 Grand River on Detroit’s west side.

According to the liquor commission, store employees sold or furnished alcohol to minors 10 times since the business opened in 1996. In the most recent violations, alcohol was sold or furnished to 20-year-olds four times since July 13, 2016.

At a Jan. 30 hearing in Southfield, the commission ordered a 270-day suspension, starting Feb. 5.

“Not concurrently with the 270-day suspension — and immediately after the 270-day suspension concludes — the licensee shall serve a three-day suspension that was ordered because of their most recent violation that they haven’t served yet,” according to a commission press release.

“On or prior to the last day of suspension, the licensee shall appear before the commission at a show cause hearing so the commission can determine the status of the license and consider what, if any, additional actions should be taken against the license, whether it be suspension, revocation, or any other action.”

Attempts to reach the store owner were not successful.

The most recent violations aren’t the first time the store has run afoul of the law. In 2016, the store failed to cooperate with law enforcement during an investigation of the business, the release said. The licensee closed the business and placed the licenses and permits in escrow on Sept. 15 in what officials said was an attempt to avoid a fine.

“Part of the commission’s legal responsibility is conducting these penalty hearings in order to suspend or revoke licenses, but also to make sure the health, safety and welfare of the public is protected,” commission chairman Andy Deloney said in a written release.

“According to the state liquor control code, the commission is required to suspend or revoke a license in a situation like this. After reviewing the file and considering the entirety of the record, the commission felt that this suspension was appropriate.”

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Twitter: @GeorgeHunter_DN