San Diego Liquor Store Suspended for Underage Alcohol Sales
Five minors consumed the alcohol, leading to a deadly car crash
San Diego – The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) has issued a 45-day suspension of Beverage House Liquor, located at 1370 East Vista Way, in the city of Vista, after an investigation found the business sold alcohol twice to a 20-year-old minor on March 22, 2022. The minor shared the alcohol with a group of underage friends and one of the minors drove under the influence and caused a fatal car crash. The business cannot sell alcohol for the next 45 days, and if any similar violations occur within the two-year stayed period, ABC has authority to revoke the license permanently.
ABC opened a Target Responsibility for Alcohol Connected Emergencies (TRACE) investigation immediately after the incident to determine the source of the alcohol that was illegally sold. ABC agents determined that Beverage House Liquor employee Eugenio Canada, sold distilled spirits on two separate occasions in the same evening to the underage customer without ever checking ID. The customer then furnished the alcohol to his underage friends.
The group of minors drove to the city of San Diego where they shared the alcohol. On the way back to Vista, the driver crashed into another vehicle. One passenger died, and the driver and remaining passengers suffered serious injuries.
“Preventing underage drinking is a public safety priority,” said ABC Director Joseph McCullough. “It is important for licensees to check IDs to prevent tragedies like this from occurring.”
ABC filed disciplinary action against Beverage House Liquor’s alcoholic beverage license for furnishing alcoholic beverages to a minor resulting in great bodily injury and death. Beverage House Liquor settled the action and agreed to a 45-day suspension of their liquor license, with a two-year revocation stayed.
The TRACE program is made possible by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The grant provides funding for ABC investigations of alcohol-related incidents that involve a person under 21 causing great bodily injury or death, or anyone charged with vehicular manslaughter that was under the influence of alcohol regardless of their age.