Campus Convenience, also known as “CampCo,” and the Mobil gas station each failed the Durham Police Department’s alcohol compliance checks with the help of the New Hampshire Liquor Commission on Thursday, March 4.  

Durham P.D. announced the news in a media release on March 5 that 14 Durham businesses licensed to sell alcohol were visited by an underage volunteer trained by the New Hampshire Liquor Commission. The individual performed the checks, attempting to purchase alcohol from each location. Both Mobil and CampCo did not pass the compliance check, failing to confirm that the individual was in fact 21.The other 12 businesses passed.  

Deputy Chief of Durham P.D. David Holmstock said during these checks there is no intent to fool the businesses, and the individual uses a valid license that shows they are underage to purchase the alcohol while the proceedings are observed by state liquor officers and detectives. 

According to Holmstock, both businesses have failed alcohol compliance checks in the past and could be subject to an additional fine from the New Hampshire Liquor Commission.  

Typically the commission requires businesses that fail the check for the first time to complete a compliance education course to provide them further education. They usually have officers helping to check businesses with liquor licenses on the weekends. “Partnering with them is vital to help ensure compliance within the Town of Durham,” Holmstock said. 

Despite the two failures, Holmstock said he’s still generally satisfied with the efforts of Durham businesses in complying with liquor laws. “It [two out of 14] is not the worst, but we would be much happier with 100% compliance and that is what we will continue to strive for,” Holmstock said. 

The N.H. Liquor Commission has their entire compliance check policy publicly available, with a purpose of “reducing the availability of alcohol to youth is an effective strategy to reduce crime, both today and in the future.” 

This isn’t the first time Durham businesses have failed compliance checks in the past. Back in 2018, three businesses failed, including two restaurants. In a statement on that case, Durham Police Chief David Kurz said, “each alcohol vendor in Durham is acutely aware of the problems illegal alcohol possession, consumption and intoxication poses to this community and it is our goal to confront this issue on multiple levels.” 

Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the New Hampshire Liquor Commission Mark Amaganian told The New Hampshire in 2018 that the commission continues to keep track of businesses that have a history of non-compliance to the laws. 

The owners of both establishments were charged with a Class B misdemeanor for the sale of alcohol to a minor: a fine of $1,200. CampCo owner Dinesh Patel of Durham and Mobil owner Allonis R. Roy of Dover are scheduled for arraignment on April 15 at 7th District Court in Dover. 

Photo courtesy of Deb Cram/ Fosters.com