Enforcement News

This page provides information about recent news articles related to liquor law enforcement and alcohol beverage control agencies. If you have a news article that you believe would be helpful to the members of the NLLEA and others interested in the enforcement of alcohol laws, please send your information to support@nllea.org and include a pdf file or a URL link that you would like to see on this site.


Sales to Intoxicated
Arizona March 2013 Hearing set for Doug's
A downtown bar that received a 10-day suspension from the state last fall has another hearing set for next week before the Vermont Department of Liquor Control.
Arkansas April 2017 O'Charley's, others fined for alcohol violations
During its April 19 meeting in Little Rock, the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board found several Region 8 restaurants and clubs in violation of their permits, including O’Charley’s of Jonesboro. The ABC fined the restaurant $300 and placed it on 90-days probation for selling alcoholic beverages to an intoxicated patron.
California December 2013 Drunk decoy operation targets stores in Escondido, San Marcos
Five North County businesses in Escondido and San Marcos were caught selling alcohol to an undercover agent pretending to be a stumbling drunk on Friday, and warned not to do that again.
California December 2013 Testa Vineyards loses liquor license for a month
A local vineyard is losing its liquor license for a month following an incident in September that involved several reportedly very drunk people and a battery on a police officer.
California January 2017 Safe New Year's celebrations
If you plan on heading to a bar or restaurant this New Year's, state officials want you to take it easy on the booze. Undercover agents with the State Alcohol Beverage Control will be working overtime, looking for violators. Serving people who appear to be intoxicated is called "Over serving" a violation of state liquor code. Undercover Beverage Control agents will be heading to restaurants, some even posing as drunk patrons, looking for some establishments who serve someone who has had too much.
Indiana February 2018 Bar waiter sentenced to time on probation
The bar server who waited on two Hancock County men who later died in a drunken-driving accident will serve time on probation after admitting he continued to pour the men drinks even though they were visibly intoxicated, officials said. Anthony Helsley, 22, of Greenfield pleaded guilty Friday to one count of sale of alcoholic beverages to intoxicated persons, a Class B misdemeanor. He'll serve an 180-day sentence on probation, Deputy Prosecutor Craig Martin said.
Iowa November 2016 Tougher alcohol-serving laws likely will face fierce resistance
Iowa's restaurants and bars likely will oppose efforts to step up enforcement of a state law that makes it illegal to serve alcohol to someone who is intoxicated, the president for the state restaurant association said.  A Register review of state data shows that since 2009, only 14 Iowa establishments have been cited for serving alcohol to inebriated patrons.
Maryland December 2013 Hagerstown liquor store owner fined for allegedly serving alcohol to intoxicated man
Washington County liquor officials on Wednesday fined a Hagerstown liquor store owner $1,500 for allegedly serving alcohol to an intoxicated man in October.
Maryland August 2014 Hagerstown nightclub under review for suspicion of overserving alcohol
A Hagerstown nightclub is suspected of overserving alcohol to customers, an allegation that officials said could be linked to nearly 70 police calls and illegal incidents since 2012.
Maryland January 2015 Clyde's Tower Oaks Lodge Fined $15,000 for Underage Drinking, Over-Serving
Violations included the serving of alcohol to underage people and the "over-serving" of alcohol to others, including one person who registered a 0.23 on a Breathalyzer test, almost three times the legal limit for intoxication.
Massachusetts November 2012 State Commission Takes Aim at Drunk Driving
State Treasurer Steven Grossman and the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (ABCC), in conjunction with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration's (NHTSA) national Impaired Driving Crackdown, will focus enforcement efforts at bars throughout the commonwealth during the 2012 holiday season.
Massachusetts January 2014 Strip Club to Face Disciplinary Hearing for Alleged Liquor Law Violations
The Golden Banana will be appearing before the state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission at some point to answer allegations of staff over-serving patrons of the Peabody strip club.
Massachusetts September 2017 Six Fitchburg businesses to go before the ABCC for alcohol violations
Six city businesses accused of liquor license violations have been called to appear before the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission in Boston this October. The letters sent out to businesses in July and August include two bars -- Singapore Restaurant and Partner's Pub, and four retail stores. Singapore is facing two alleged violations -- first, the delivery of an alcoholic beverage to an intoxicated person and, second, the delivery of more than two drinks to one person at one time. According to a report, ABCC investigators saw a man who appeared to be intoxicated sitting at the bar at about 11:21 p.m. on May 26. About 10 minutes later, investigators wrote, the bartender served him a mixed drink. The man's "movements appeared to be slow and his speech was slurred," but shortly before midnight he was served another three drinks, all Jagermeister Bombs, the report said. Investigators spoke to the bartender who said the man would be provided safe transport to his residence.
Massachusetts December 2017 2 Hyannis bars charged with overserving
Two Main Street bars have been charged with overserving "visibly intoxicated" people during the weekend and face hearings before the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission in Boston. The first incident allegedly occurred Dec. 15 at Duck Inn Pub and the second was Dec. 17 at emBargo, according to a statement from the commission. Commission investigators step up enforcement between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve, a time when there are statistically more incidents of drunken driving, the statement says. During the holidays, investigators target bars that "have been most identified as the last bar to sell alcohol to a convicted drunk driver," the statement says.
Michigan April 2014 B.O.B. liquor license suspended 3 days
The state liquor control commission on Friday suspended the liquor license of The B.O.B. for three days over the death of a customer last year.
Michigan February 2017 Brighton cracking down on bars that overserve
Brighton city officials concerned about drunken driving, disorderly conduct and other alcohol-related issues may soon deliver a tough message to businesses who sell intoxicating beverages. The Brighton City Council is considering a formal liquor license review process in order to curb what police characterize as the “overserving” of patrons at city establishments.
National November 2012 Laws to Crack Down on Serving Intoxicated People in Bars Largely Ignored
Laws prohibiting bars and restaurants from serving intoxicated people can be an effective way to reduce alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes and violence, but the provisions in most states are poorly drafted and rarely enforced, according to two experts on alcohol policy.
National August 2014 Bartenders face balancing act: When not to sell
According to a 2009 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study, nearly all states have laws prohibiting sales to intoxicated people. However, the study found there is "considerable variation among State laws in terms of language employed to describe the state of intoxication as well as the provision of alcohol."
New Hampshire July 2013 Milford Restaurant Faces Penalties for Over-Serving Alcohol
Pasat Loft in Milford is facing a fine and short suspension from the NH Liquor Commission Bureau of Enforcement for over-serving a customer.
New Jeresey February 2018 Fights prompt major crackdown on bars in Hoboken
A crackdown has been launched on fights inside and outside bars in Hoboken, New Jersey.
North Carolina November 2012 Horrific N.C. crash puts spotlight on dram shop laws
The verdict in a DUI crash underlines how bars, and in some cases hosts, can be held liable if they serve alcohol to clearly drunk people who later cause crashes.
North Carolina February 2018 Restaurant denies serving man 17 shots before deadly I-485 crash
A Charlotte restaurant denies letting a man drink 17 shots before a deadly crash in September.
Ohio August 2014 Bar cited for over-serving customer involved in accident
Ethel's Tavern, a bar in Newtown, was cited and an employee was charged with over-serving violations in connection with a fatal accident in Union Township Feb. 21, according to the Ohio Department of Public Safety's Ohio Investigative Unit.
Ohio September 2016 Video shows what led to conviction of bartender accused of serving man too much to drink
he FOX 8 I-Team has obtained video from inside a bar just before a man died, and the pictures helped lead to a rare conviction for a bartender accused of serving the man too much to drink. The Ohio Investigative Unit looks into cases like this statewide. Local agent-in-charge Greg Croft said, "What's on that video should never happen in any bar in Ohio."
Ohio May 2017 Bartender charged, accused of serving alchohol to intoxicated woman who died in crash
A bartender faces a criminal charge, accused of serving alcohol to an intoxicated woman who later died in a car crash.
Oklahoma November 2012 Afton liquor store clerk charged after crash kills drunken Fairland teenager
A liquor store clerk has been charged with selling alcohol to a minor who later died in a traffic accident.
Oklahoma June 2013 ABLE commission cracking down on liquor store sales, focusing on Tulsa's Cherry Street, homeless
State agents are cracking down on businesses along Tulsa's 15th street after receiving complaints of intoxicated people passing out in public places.
Oklahoma October 2017 Oklahoma Supreme Court rules convenience stores can be sued for selling alcohol to intoxicated customers
Convenience stores across Oklahoma are facing more pressure now when it comes to selling alcohol. A state supreme court ruling, Tuesday, said a store could be sued if they sell alcohol to a person who is already intoxicated. The ruling comes from a 2012 lawsuit against George Carothers and a gas station. The court documents said Carothers, who was already drunk, drove himself to a convenience store to buy more booze. A few hours later, he got in his car - killing one person and injuring others.
Oregon March 2016 Bars less likely to be held liable for drunken driving injuries with Supreme Court ruling
The Oregon Supreme Court ruled that not only must victims prove that bar employees were careless in serving alcohol to a "visibly intoxicated person," but that the employees should have "foreseen" that the drunken person was going to get into a car and maim or kill somebody.
Pennsylvania April 2013 Towne House, American Legion Cited for Alleged Liquor Code Violations
Two bars in Nazareth have been cited by the Pennsylvania State Police Liquor Enforcement Office.
South Carolina July 2017 Family hurt in DUI accident on May River Road sues driver and Bluffton tavern
A head-on collision on May River Road last Dec. 9 has led to a lawsuit against a Bluffton man and a popular Bluffton restaurant and bar. 
Texas November 2012 Woodlands bartender first task force arrest for overserving
A bartender at a popular restaurant on The Woodlands Waterway is the first person arrested by a specially created Driving While Intoxicated Task Force for overserving an intoxicated customer.
Texas December 2012 Police put undercover officers in bars, try to catch bartenders who assist drunk driving
In an effort to combat Montgomery County's shocking spike in drunk driving fatalities area police are making an effort to stop the problem at its source, placing undercover agents at popular bars to monitor over-serving.
Texas December 2012 TABC Cracking Down on DWIs this Holiday Season
He said TABC agents, both uniformed and undercover, routinely patrol bars looking first for customers who have had more adult beverages than they can handle, and second for bar employees who continue to serve those who have had too much to drink.
Texas March 2013 TABC wants Lustre Pearl's liquor license revoked
State agents with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission are recommending that the liquor license for Lustre Pearl bar be revoked after a woman left the bar last year and crashed into Lady Bird Lake killing a passenger in her backseat.
Texas July 2013 Bar patron charged after woman convicted in intoxication manslaughter case
In a rare legal move, a bar patron is now being charged in connection with the woman who was driving drunk, slammed her vehicle into a car and killed two teens in Montgomery County.
Texas July 2013 TABC says Dallas club promoted "excessive consumption" the night Josh Brent drank there
The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission said Friday it has found "sufficient evidence" that a Northwest Dallas nightclub sold alcohol to "an intoxicated person" the December 2012 night Dallas Cowboys Josh Brent left the club and crashed his Mercedes, killing teammate and best friend Jerry Brown.
Texas November 2013 Special Report: Over Served
The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission receives hundreds of complaints about businesses in Corpus Christi city each year. Selling alcohol to minors tops the list, but the second most common complaint involves over served customers.
Utah April 2014 Bar fined for serving client involved in fatal crash too much alcohol
The woman's blood alcohol level was 0.38 - nearly five times the legal limit of 0.08, according to a police affidavit. Investigators say other patrons at the bar noticed something was wrong, and the staff at the bar should have, too.
Utah April 2014 More than $20,000 in fines given to Utah bars, restaurants
The fines stem from violations like over-serving customers and selling alcohol to customers who are underage.
Virginia October 2016 Trinity appealing ABC license suspension
For the third time, Trinity Irish Pub is appealing a decision made by the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to suspend its wine and beer on and off premises and mixed beverage license privileges. On Nov. 22, 2014, five ABC agents were initially engaging in crowd control, but entered Trinity upon noticing patrons throwing their drinks at protesters as well as seeing a patron "urinating off of the balcony." Upon entering the bar, the agents made several observations of Virginia code violations. The first allegation was that the bar sold an alcoholic beverage to an individual that agents had reason to believe was intoxicated, and that the bartender should have discerned said person was intoxicated.
Wisconsin July 2013 Wis. PDs Want Bars to Follow No-Serve Lists
The Janesville Police Department has joined several other Wisconsin law enforcement agencies in asking local taverns and liquor stores not to serve people who are habitually intoxicated.