January 25, 2008
OLYMPIA – The Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) today issued an emergency liquor license suspension up to 180 days for Blue Fish Restaurant, located at 7829 Birch Bay Dr. in Blaine. The suspension is effective from 7 p.m. Jan. 25, 2008, to 7 p.m. July 23, 2008. The WSLCB is authorized by state law to issue an emergency suspension of up to 180 days of a liquor license when it believes the “health, safety or welfare” of the general public is in danger.
During the suspension period, the WSLCB will take action to revoke the spirits/beer/wine restaurant license permanently.
On Jan. 18, undercover officers found multiple violations of allowing apparently intoxicated persons to consume alcohol in the premises, restaurant staff consuming alcohol while working on the premises, and allowing disorderly persons to remain on the license premises.
“Due to these multiple violations, an extensive violation history within a short period of time, and an immediate threat to the health, safety and welfare of the people of Whatcom County, the Board intends to cancel the Blue Fish Restaurant’s liquor license and immediately implement an emergency liquor license suspension,” said Board Chairman Lorraine Lee.
The violations were found during an undercover investigation of several Whatcom County area liquor licensed establishments conducted by the WSLCB on Jan. 18 and 19. Enforcement officers from the WSLCB’s Seattle office, who are unknown in the area, posed as patrons to look for possible violations.
The Blue Fish Restaurant was selected as a location for the undercover investigations due to its previous public safety liquor law violation history with the WSLCB. In 2007, the establishment received two violations for overservice and one violation for licensee/employee drinking on duty.
Violations at the Blue Fish Restaurant on Jan. 18 included:
• 3 counts of Overservice
• 2 counts of Licensee/Employee Drinking on Duty
• 1 count of Permitting Disorderly Person to Remain
Emergency suspensions represent an extraordinary exercise of the state’s power and the WSLCB is mandated to ensure that an emergency suspension is reasonable, justifiable, and legal in every way. The WSLCB issued three emergency suspensions in 2006 and three in 2007.
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