Nov 25, 2013 7:22 PM by Allison Bourne-Vanneck

ATC Investigates Downtown Lafayette Bars

Several bars in downtown Lafayette may have some fines to pay, plus could see their liquor licenses suspended or even revoked.

The Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control made the announcement after launching a three month undercover operation and says many complaints about underage sales prompted the investigation

In all, 77 violations were issued, and 40 of those were issued to 16 bars. Additionally, 37 employees were cited for allegedly selling alcohol to people under the age of 21. One bar was even cited for operating without an alcohol permit.

Alcohol and Tobacco Control Commissioner Troy Hebert called in 26 businesses to address the violations its investigation uncovered.

"What we're not going to allow is the continued operation that's been going on in the Lafayette area in particular, that is really I think giving all of the industry a bad name," ATC Commissioner Troy Hebert said.

Some businesses, however, didn't receive violations. Jared Doise, who owns Legends Bar, was one of 10 businesses that were recognized for not receiving any violations.

"There's a handful of people in our industry that give us a bad name and they're a few of us that are educated in business, and run it like a business and not like a fraternity party, if you will," Jared Doise said.

Seven businesses received three or more alleged violations. Those businesses include The Arcadian, Bed Niteclub, Jefferson Street Green Room, The Keg, Karma Nightclub and Lounge, The Office Bar, and The Rabbit Hole. In addition to possible fines, their alcohol license could be suspended, or even revoked. However, ATC is giving those businesses a chance to make changes to prevent future violations.

"For example, become a 21 year and up establishment or stop smoking. These type of issues that I just mentioned are actually put in a consent decree and signed up by the owner," Hebert said. "And what that says is if you don't do any of these things, and if you're caught in violation of these things outside of title 26, then we actually can revoke or suspend your permit based on you not doing what you should be doing," Hebert said.

Hearings will be held in Baton Rouge for businesses on their alleged violations.



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