The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

April 29, 2013

Bar broke liquor laws, no-smoking regs, police say

By Melissa Klaric
Herald Staff Writer

SHARPSVILLE — Double A’s Lounge, 512 Main St., Sharpsville, was slapped with a citation for violating liquor laws by the Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement this month for serving alcohol with an expired liquor license from July through mid-January, according to state police.

Double A’s also was cited on April 12 for failing to post “no smoking” signs as required by the Clean Indoor Air Act and permitting smoking in the bar, police said.

After an officer observed the infractions at Double A’s, an investigation was opened.

Double A’s financial records were inspected by authorities to determine the exact dates that the bar was open and serving alcohol, and officers referred to the Department of Health website which lists by county all establishments that can allow smoking in their building, according to Sgt. Todd J. Post, district office commander for the bureau.

Liquor control officers said the bar lacked “no smoking” signs that should be posted near the entrance and inside the bar.

Post referred questions about details to an undercover liquor control officer.

The officer could only guess that Double A's owners got away with selling beer and liquor by buying it retail -- skirting around wholesalers who would provide them with the paperwork for renewing their license.

“It catches up with them sooner or later,” the officer said.

The charges will be brought before an administrative law judge, who has the authority to impose penalties ranging from $50 up to $1,000 for minor offenses, and up to $5,000 for each serious offense.

The judge can also suspend or revoke the liquor license based on the severity of charges, and impose training in order to educate the licensee on liquor laws in Pennsylvania.

On Jan. 15 Double A’s was issued temporary authorization to operate, but must still appear before the judge to face the charges.