CULVER CITY (CBSLA) — Agents for the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Department made unannounced visits to restaurants in Culver City on Friday night to ensure bars and restaurants were following coronavirus health orders.
“We all want to stop the spread of the virus,” said ABC public information officer John Carr.
Since July 1, 150 federal ABC agents across the state have been visiting the establishments to check if a variety of safety guidelines are in place.
“Is there indoor dining and alcohol consumption? Are the servers in that particular premises wearing face coverings to keep themselves safe and the public safe? And how is the social and physical distancing?” Carr said.
California has the power to file criminal charges, impose fines and if things don’t change, close down the violating establishments.
On Friday night, state agents told KCAL9/CBS2 that most restaurants are following the rules.
Of 41,000 visits throughout the summer, ABC agents said they have only issued 113 citations across the entire state.
“If we visit one of these locations and we clearly see there’s large groups of people, the licensee has made no effort to implement any social distancing standards,” said Gerry Sanchez, ABC Supervising Agent In Charge.
The agency said its first step is educating the establishments and then issuing a warning.
In some instances, agents will have a follow-up visit to make sure safety guidelines are being taken seriously to keep employees and customers safe.