TABC Issues Warning After Local Bar Is Caught With 3 Major Violations - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

2/28/05

TABC Issues Warning After Local Bar Is Caught With 3 Major Violations

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has now issued a warning to local bars and clubs. This comes after agents say a local bar was caught serving minors, as well as customers already considered legally intoxicated. TABC says it will not stand for such violations, and Graham Central station faces possible consequences.

What often starts as a night of fun can lead to extreme situations on the road. Mothers Against Drunk Driving reports that alcohol caused over 3,500 traffic deaths in 2003. Which is why TABC officers will now target what they believe to be the source of the problem. They want to stop bartenders from serving those who are already legally drunk.

"Every intoxicated person we can take off the street is one less DWI and hopefully one less person getting hurt in crashes," said TABC Enforcement Officer, Lt. Harry Schreffler.

From June to July, TABC issued Graham's two citations for serving customers who were already legally intoxicated, and another for serving a minor. After three violations within a year, TABC can legally take away a facility's license, however Graham's has chosen to contest the citations through a hearing.

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In the meantime, Schreffler says because of those who worked at Graham's at the time, the facility is not on his good side.

"We're at the mercy of our employees, if our employees do a bad job out there, then the public looks at them terrible. Same thing with bar owners, if their employees do a bad job, we look at them terrible," said Schreffler.

As for the bartender, the penalty for serving someone illegally is up to two years in jail and a $4,000 fine.

"That's a lot of time, effort, and money to spend for some guy you served a beer to," said Schreffler.

The owner of Graham's wasn't available to talk to us on camera today. However, he has told us he's fighting the violations because he doesn't think his employees are at fault.

In the meantime, Graham's is open for business as usual. The "punishment" will be decided at the hearing. No date has been set yet.

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