Letter: Trap deceptively set
Friday, May 20, 2011
I am a restaurant and bar owner in Clark County and have been carefully following the Washington State Liquor Control Board “sting cases” covered by The Columbian, specifically the May 15 story “Bars claim entrapment in underage sting.” I am astounded that the assistant attorney general for the state, who is an officer of the court, would represent to your reporter that the boy used in the sting operation “looked just like any other teen.” In fact, the young man was over six feet tall, 200 pounds and had a beard. In one day this teen went to eight different establishments, five of them, including a Washington state liquor store, served him without questioning his age.
The District Court judge who heard the case found as a matter of law that the teen was “deceptively” mature in appearance.
The WSLCB sting operations, which are intended to be teaching aids available to restaurant and bars to educate their employees on fake IDs and avoiding the sale of liquor to minors, have turned into a program for their agents to write citations, establish fines, cause employees to lose jobs, and in some cases shut down liquor establishments by means of deceiving and tricking honest people into breaking the law.