Complaints from neighbors about drug use, underage drinking and other disturbances led to four arrests at a bar on Montauk Highway. The arrests provide an extensive catalogue of crimes that may be unique to bars whose owners allegedly fail to properly regulate their businesses.
In response to neighborhood complaints that the bar was the scene of drug use and underage drinking, plainclothes officers from the Suffolk Police Department entered the bar to observe the actions of bartenders and customers. The police used agents under the age of 18 to make purchases of alcoholic beverages. The officers also observed 20 other incidents of bartenders serving alcohol to underage patrons. The undercover officers also saw at least one incident of illegal drug use.
The undercover officers then summoned uniformed police to enter the bar and inspect the premises. The uniformed officers arrested three bartenders. Each was charged with unlawfully dealing with a child in the first degree. A customer was also arrested and charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance. The bar itself was cited for violating a number of the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control laws, and it will subject to penalties administered by the state Liquor Authority.
The charges against the bar and its employees can have serious long term consequences, including the imposition of fines and license suspension for the bar. The bar and its employees are entitled to a presumption that they are innocent of these charges until proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, but they must overcome the testimony of the undercover officers. Anyone facing similar charges may wish to schedule a consultation with an attorney who specializes in alcohol-related crimes. A knowledgeable lawyer can provide a useful overview of the facts, a list of possible defense strategies and an estimate of the likelihood of obtaining a favorable plea agreement or an outright acquittal.
Source: Sayville-Bayport Patch.com, “Four Arrested During State Liquor Authority Inspection at West Sayville Bar,” Ryan Bonner, Oct. 11, 2015