Ritzville restaurant cited following WSLCB investigation into January 26 death

March 29, 2010

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) on March 16 issued two Administrative Violation Notices (AVNs) to Whisperin’ Palms Restaurant in Ritzville for violating state liquor laws. The AVNs were issued following the agency’s investigation into events surrounding the January 26 death of a Ritzville man who was struck by a train as it passed through the city.

The investigation found that the restaurant, located at 110 W. Main St., overserved the man the night of his death.

Enforcement actions

The WSLCB issued two AVNs and two written warnings to Whisperin’ Palms Restaurant following the investigation.


  • Sale or service to an apparently intoxicated person
    • Recommended penalty: Five day suspension with an option to pay $500 in lieu of the suspension
    • First violation of this type within two years
  • Licensee intoxicated on the premises
    • Recommended penalty: Seven day suspension with no monetary option
    • Second violation of this type within two years

Written Warnings:

  • Permitting a disorderly person to remain on the premises
  • Employee drinking on duty

WSLCB liquor enforcement officers are empowered to issue AVNs to businesses that violate state liquor and tobacco laws or regulations. Fines or license suspensions can be issued depending on the severity of the infraction or the frequency with which a business has been cited. Officers look at the past two years when determining a recommended penalty.

When a business receives an AVN, it has three options: accept the penalty, request an informal hearing with the WSLCB hearing officer in an attempt to reach a compromise, or request a formal hearing with an administrative law judge from the Office of Administrative Hearings. A business has 20 days to choose an option.

Written warnings do not result in a fine or suspension. 



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