The Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control settled two separate cases with liquor license holders for the Alloway Village Inn in Salem County and Brickwall Tavern & Dining Room in Burlington County, who reportedly overserved patrons involved in three separate fatal drunk driving crashes.
Alloway Wines and Liquors Inc., which holds the liquor license for Alloway Village Inn, will have its liquor license suspended for 30 days beginning Sept. 4 and pay a $175,000 fine. High Street at Burlington LLC, which holds the liquor license for Brickwall Tavern & Dining Room, will give up its license for 30 days beginning Feb. 3 and pay a $300,000 fine. Both entities will give up interest in their respective liquor licenses within two years.
The settlements resolve charges filed by the ABC in connection with fatal crashes involving patrons overserved at Brickwall Tavern & Dining in 2016 and at Alloway Village Inn in 2013 and 2015.
These cases illustrate why liquor licensees must be responsible in their service of alcohol to all patrons, not just drivers.
– James Graziano, acting director, Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control
State law prohibits bars from selling alcohol to anyone who is “actually or apparently” intoxicated. According to experts cited by the Office of the Attorney General, most drinkers are “apparently intoxicated” when their blood alcohol concentration is .15 percent. The legal limit for driving is .08 percent BAC.
“These cases illustrate why liquor licensees must be responsible in their service of alcohol to all patrons, not just drivers,” said ABC Acting Director James Graziano in a statement. “Both of these bars not only overserved the drivers in these fatal crashes, in two instances they overserved the victims. These were patrons whose judgment became so impaired, they willingly got into cars driven by someone they knew had consumed considerable amounts of alcohol, which resulted in their deaths.”
The Brickwall Tavern & Dining Room settlement stems from a Sept. 23, 2016 incident when off-duty Burlington Township police officer Justin Rodriguez crashed into a pole after drinking at Brickwall for nearly four hours, injuring himself and killing his passenger.
The Alloway Village Inn settlement stems from incidents that occurred on May 9, 2013 and Nov. 29, 2015. At the time of the first crash, driver Kenneth Furr’s BAC was approximately .31 percent. When he consumed his last drink at the Alloway Village Inn, his BAC was approximately .20 percent. At the time of the November crash, driver Matthew Moore’s BAC was around .17 percent and .23 percent, according to the OAG.
All three drivers were convicted of vehicular homicide and received jail time.