Says ATC Commissioner Troy Hebert, "Obviously, they are not responsible enough to have the privilege of selling alcohol. This blatant disregard of the law will not be tolerated."
After being warned at a Nov. 25 meeting with Commissioner Troy Hebert, head of the state office of Alcohol & Tobacco Control, three Lafayette bars that apparently failed to heed Hebert's advice are now without their liquor licenses following a recent operation during which, according to ATC, the bars were caught serving alcohol to minors.
Photo by Robin May
Despite a stern warning by him on Nov. 25, ATC Commissioner Troy Heber maintains three local bars continued to break the law and subsequently had their licenses suspended Saturday.
Hebert's office announced Monday that Scotty's Ice House on Johnston Street (which has been operating as The Sidebar), The Keg on McKinley Street and BED Niteclub on Jefferson had their licenses suspended beginning this past Saturday. The Keg and Scotty's were cited for their fourth violation of selling booze to minors; BED also had multiple violations of sales to minors. ATC also notes in the Monday press release that security personnel at BED were "found openly smoking marijuana on several occasions inside the club."
"The sad part is I personally met with them for two hours to try and find some solutions," Hebert says in the release. "Obviously, they are not responsible enough to have the privilege of selling alcohol. This blatant disregard of the law will not be tolerated."
In fact, the commissioner told The Ind in a phone conversation late Monday afternoon, all the clubs that were summoned to State Police Troop I headquarters on Nov. 25 were the subject of a recent undercover operation and Hebert had warned them at the meeting that his office would be back.
"We basically made it a point to check each and every one of those businesses that we brought in, to say, OK, we've caught y'all doing these things. We've called you in, warned you and talked about it. Now we're going to go see if you were paying attention.' And so sure enough, on the last two weekends, we went and checked everyone of them. And the ones that we actually closed - I want to say at least two of the three - sold [to minors] both weekends. So, they didn't only just break the violations once, but they actually did it a second time."
However, Hebert says he believes the state's effort to make Lafayette bars mindful of the legal drinking age is working, based on how many bars from the Nov. 25 meeting were found to be in compliance during the two-weekend operation.
"There's 26 of them and we got three of them [for violations] - that means 23 of them are doing the right thing," Hebert said. "I think that's a positive indication that the vast majority want to do it right, so I like to hear that."