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Police go undercover to bust Rockville restaurant for alcohol violations

By Aaron Kraut

Thursday - 8/14/2014, 1:35pm  ET

Clyde's 
Tower Oaks Lodge restaurant, via Facebook

Montgomery County Police used plains clothes officers to bust a number of customers for alcohol violations at the popular Clyde’s Tower Oaks Lodge restaurant in Rockville.

A follow-up investigation from the county’s Department of Liquor Control might land the restaurant in even more trouble.

Police said they were attracted to the restaurant and bar (2 Preserve Parkway) after a number of community complaints and calls for service at the location — especially on Monday nights. According to a police press release, complaints and calls included underage drinking at the restaurant, assaults, overservice of customers and obviously intoxicated customers jumping behind the wheel after leaving the restaurant.

“These violations and their possible negative consequences, which not only effect patrons but the public in general, were of concern to the Police Department and the Department of Liquor Control,” according to the press release. “Officers noted that the police calls for service seemed to coincide with on-going drink specials on Monday evenings at the restaurant.”

So on Monday, plain clothes officers from the department’s Alcohol Initiatives Section set up both inside and outside of the restaurant — which is designed like a hunting lodge and has two separate bar areas.

From 10 p.m. Monday to 3 a.m. Tuesday, police said they issued a long list of citations.

Police issued seven civil citations for fake IDs. All seven patrons with fake IDs were younger than 21, police said. Officers issued five civil citations for possession of alcohol under 21 and all five of those patrons were drinking inside the restaurant and had blood alcohol content levels higher than .10.

The legal limit in Maryland is .08.

Officers also made five DUI arrests of people who said they had been drinking at Clyde’s. Their blood alcohol content levels ranged from .09 to .22.

Now, the restaurant faces its own set of violations. An inspector on scene from the Department of Liquor Control observed bartenders overserving patrons — police said one was so drunk she required the assistance of others to walk. Police also said she had a blood alcohol content level of .23.

The DLC inspector also found that employee records were unavailable for routine inspection and that the restaurant was serving alcohol to minors, all violations that could result in heavy fines and the loss of the restaurant’s alcohol permit.

According to police, the DLC will conduct a follow-up investigation.

Photo via Clyde’s Tower Oaks Lodge Facebook