Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in case of In the Matter of Revocation of Restaurant Liquor License No. R-9750, issued to Adelin R. Pirollo, LaVerne's Lounge, 5431-33 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 15206, No. S.A. 1356 of 1975.
J. Leonard Langan, Assistant Attorney General, with him Harry Bowytz, Chief Counsel, and Robert P. Kane, Attorney General, for appellant.
John R. Cook, with him Fine, Perlow and Stone, for appellee.
Judges Kramer, Mencer and Rogers, sitting as a panel of three. Judge Kramer did not participate in the decision. Opinion by Judge Mencer. Judge Kramer did not participate in the decision in this case. See Pa. R.a.p. 3102(d).
[ 31 Pa. Commw. Page 639]
This is an appeal by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (Board) from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County sustaining the appeal of Adelin R. Pirollo from a Board order which imposed a $250 fine on Pirollo.
Pirollo is a licensed retailer of alcoholic beverages trading as LaVerne's Lounge (LaVerne's). On two occasions in July of 1975, LaVerne's made sales of beer to the same minor. Before both the Board and the court below, these sales were admitted. The Board concluded that this established LaVerne's violation of Section 493(1) of the Liquor Code, Act of April 12,
[ 31 Pa. Commw. Page 6401951]
, P.L. 90, as amended, 47 P.S. § 4-493(1), and the $250 fine was imposed. On appeal, the court below conducted a de novo hearing and found as a fact that the sales to the minor were made on the basis of a presentation by the minor of a Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board identification card. The court concluded that LaVerne's good-faith acceptance of the card as proof of the age of the holder established a good defense to proceedings for a violation of Section 493(1). The correctness of that conclusion is the narrow legal issue before us.
Section 495 of the Code, 47 P.S. § 4-495, provides, in pertinent part:
Identification cards; licensees and state liquor store employes saved from prosecution. -- (a) The board shall issue, to any person who shall have attained the age of twenty-one years, an identification card bearing said person's date of birth, physical description, photograph, [and] signature. . . .
(b) Such identification card shall be presented by the holder thereof upon request of any State Liquor Store or any licensee, or the servant, agent or employe thereof, for the purpose of aiding such store licensee or the servant, agent or employe to determine whether or not such person is twenty-one years of age and upwards, when such person desires alcoholic beverage at a State Liquor Store or licensed establishment.
(c) In addition to the presentation of such identification card, the agent of the State Liquor Store or the licensee or his servant, agent or employe, shall require the person whose age may be in ...