The East Baton Rouge Alcoholic Beverage Control office fined Shady’s Bar almost $40,000 on Tuesday as a result of the citations issued when authorities raided the popular bar on Nov. 15, the agency’s director said Wednesday.
The ABC office has not suspended Shady’s city liquor license and ABC Director Chris Cranford said he does not think it will be suspended.
“They have 10 days to pay the fine or contest the charges,” Cranford said.
He said the owners of Shady’s, 623 E. Boyd Drive, may receive more time to review the case if they choose to do so.
On Nov. 15, Baton Rouge police and ABC agents arrested 12 people accused of being in the bar without identification, one accused of being under the age of 18, two on counts of disturbing the peace by intoxication and interfering with a police investigation and 18 on counts of possession of alcohol by persons under the age of 21, according to a news release issued after the raid.
The fines against the bar break down as follows:
- Conducting games or contests that involve drinking alcoholic beverages or the awarding of alcoholic beverages as prizes: 1 count, $500.
- Selling or otherwise furnishing any alcoholic beverage that is free of charge whether associated with an admission fee or cover charge or not: 1 count, $500.
- Unlicensed employees: 5 counts at $500, $2,500.
- Serving an intoxicated person: 2 counts at $250, $500.
- Allowing underage persons on the premises: 2 counts at $350, $700.
- Failure to check for lawful identification: 3 counts at $250, $750.
- Allowing persons under the age of 21 to possess or consume alcohol on the licensed premises: 27 counts at $500, $13,500.
- Any violation selling or distributing alcoholic beverages to persons 18, 19 or 20 years of age on the licensed premises: 27 counts at $750, $20,250.
Cranford said the fine is the largest he has seen in his more than 20 years at ABC.
Troy Hebert, commissioner of the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control, said he has never seen a fine that large either.
He said the case interests him because his office may levy additional fines and/or penalties, including suspending or revoking Shady’s state liquor license, after the East Baton Rouge ABC board issues its penalties.
“The hammer we have at ATC is that we can suspend the place immediately,” Hebert said. “An alcohol permit is a privilege, not a right.”
“We will do our own investigation to see whether or not we will issue state charges or not,” Hebert added.
Hebert said he will begin an investigation into the matter on Friday.