Local Mexican restaurant Los Cuates and convenience store Wisemiller’s Grocery & Deli were raided in the past two weeks by the Metropolitan Police Department in attempt to locate use of fake identifications among customers, as well as the sales of alcoholic beverages to the underaged.
On Saturday, around 20 underage students were caught with fake identifications by undercover police officers in Los Cuates. Manager Sergio Kehl said that no prior warning was given to the management, as three police officers entered and began to question customers in the restaurant. Although the identifications were confiscated, no students were arrested.
The officers said to the students involved at the restaurant that their names would be referred to the university, where further discipline would be carried out. The disciplinary measures to be carried out by the the university are still unknown. The Office of Student Conduct could not be reached for comment.
Student Advocacy Office Co-Director Ben Manzione (SFS ’15) said he could not comment on specific cases, but he described the usual disciplinary process when police refer cases to the university.
“The student goes through the legal system and then the student could also face disciplinary sanctions from the university. The way that works is the Metropolitan Police Department, when the student is arrested, sometimes what they’ll do is they’ll call the university and they’ll let the university know right away. Other times what they’ll do is they’ll forward the reports to the university,” Manzione said. “They will refer reports involving students who may have committed crimes to the GUPD and then the GUPD will forward them to the Office of Student Conduct and then they’ll get adjudicated from there.”
Manzione added that, of the cases on which SAO works, usage of fake IDs was among the most common referrals from the MPD, in addition to noise violations.
“We do see a fair amount of cases come involving the use of fake IDs,” Manzione said.
In addition to sanctions for students, the Alcohol Beverage Regulation Administration, which regulates licenses for restaurants to sell alcohol in the District, investigates incidents of underage sales to determine whether to suspend or revoke alcohol licenses.
ABRA Public Affairs Specialist Jessie Cornelius would not comment about the specific incidents in the past two weeks, but she explained the organization’s general policy on license suspensions.
“Essentially the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board can suspend or revoke an alcoholic beverage license if the licensee violates District laws and regulations including but not limited to District of Columbia Official Code Title 25 and Municipal Regulations Title 23, violates the terms of the license or settlement agreement, presents an imminent danger to the health and safety of the public, or fails to pay licensing fees and fines,” Cornelius wrote in an email to The Hoya.
The District of Columbia Official Code Title 25 and Municipal Regulations Title 23 states that the board may issue fines and suspend or revoke licenses if the licensee allows the establishment to be used for any unlawful purpose.
Furthermore, the MPD chief of police may request the suspension or revocation of a license if there seems to be a correlation between increased crime within 1,000 feet of the establishment and the operation of the establishment. If an establishment loses its permit, it is ineligible to regain its license for five years.
Recently, Foggy Bottom bar McFadden’s Restaurant and Saloon closed after it lost its license when five people were stabbed at the establishment Dec. 30.
Licenses are subject to revocation only after a hearing involving the defendant. Kehl said that authorities had not yet reached out to Los Cuates after the Saturday night raid. The restaurant turned away several college-aged patrons Sunday after they attempted to use fake identifications, prompting rude remarks from the customers.
Fake identifications have also been seized at Wisemiller’s over the past two weekends, but the Metropolitan Police Department and Wisemiller’s staff declined to comment on the incidents involving fake identifications and sales to underage drinkers.