Posted: Jul 24, 2011 10:56 AM by Chris Welty
Updated: Jul 24, 2011 10:58 AM
Jennings, La - Louisiana Alcohol and Tobacco Control ("ATC") Commissioner Troy Hebert announced that on Friday July 22nd, 2011 ATC Special Agents conducted an undercover enforcement operation and inspection at Big O's Place located on South Lake Arthur Avenue in Jennings Louisiana. Agents were responding to citizen complaints of possible underage drinking violations occurring at the business. Agents were looking for persons under age twenty-one being sold and / or being allowed to consume alcohol on the premise.
Agents entered the bar around 10:30pm in an undercover capacity to conduct surveillance prior to taking action. While inside the bar posing as regular patrons, agents observed several individuals of questionable age in possession of alcohol beverages. After determining those subjects needed to be checked for age verification, agents acted on the observations. Several patrons were temporarily detained and escorted outside where at least twelve persons under age twenty-one were issued misdemeanor summons in lieu of arrest for unlawful possession of alcohol. In addition, one individual over age twenty-one was cited for purchasing alcohol on behalf of at least five individuals under age twenty-one while inside the bar. At least one individual temporarily detained was seventeen years of age. That subject was cited for criminal trespassing for unlawfully being inside the bar as well as being in possession of alcohol under age twenty-one.
The Jennings Police Department was contacted and immediately responded to the call in a support capacity sending several officers to the location to assist with crowd control. The bar owner was actually present at the bar operating the business while the operation took place. After all appropriate violations were issued to the patrons, Agents met with the bar owner privately and explained the reasons for the operation. The business owner received an administrative citation with a scheduled hearing date at ATC Headquarters in Baton Rouge for allowing a person under age eighteen on premise and to address the issue of underage drinking occurring within the business. The bar owner signed and accepted the violation ticket after receiving a warning that similar future operations would take place at the location until the underage drinking issue at the location has been resolved.