Cunliffe: Operation Dragon Suspended; Bar Owners Planing Lawsuit Against GPD’s Underage Drinking Crackdown

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Guam – Attorney Randy Cunliffe tells PNC News that the Governor’s Office has informed him that GPD’s Operation Dragon would be suspended.

Operation Dragon has been an ongoing effort by GPD to enforce the law against underage drinking. Since last year, the legal limit on Guam has been 21 years of age. Recently, dozens of bars and stores that sell liquor have been busted for selling to people under age 21.

However Cunliffe says that the enforcement effort has gone too far.

The attorney told PNC News that it appears that authorities are sending underage people into the bars with 2 ID’s. The underage person  displays an ID that shows an age over 21.

When they are served, Cunliffe says, a signal is made and police rush in and demand ID’s from everyone in the bar. The decoy then shows the other ID proving he is under 21 years of age and the establishment is closed down.

Cunliffee called that “patently unconstitutional and a gross violation of the ABC rules.” He added that “the Supreme Court said years ago that you have to have reasonable suspicion before you can ask anyone for identification.”

Cunliffe represents Ralph Sgambelluri, the owner of Ralphy’s in East Hagatna. Ralphy’s was among a number of bar’s busted last Friday night.

Cunliffe said that he is preparing legal action on behalf of Sgambelluri and other bar owners claiming that police are “acting in excess of their authority.”  The attorney said he would be seeking legal damages for the income lost by the bar owners during the raids.