Serious Spanking for Sales to Minors

Serious Spanking for Sales to Minors


La Hacienda of Franklin incurred the wrath of the Tennessee ABC today, January 25, 2012. The ABC laid down the law and imposed a $10,000 fine plus a 30 day suspension for six sales to minors on Cinco de Mayo.

We bet the the owners of the popular Mexican eatery wished they had just paid the original fine. La Hacienda was cited for six counts of sales to minors and asked to pay a fine of $9,000, based on $1,500 for each sale.

We encourage owners to resolve citations by negotiating with ABC staff. The other option is to set the citation for hearing before an administrative judge, which is what La Hacienda did.

The administrative judge was not as charitable as the ABC staff and, after the hearing, imposed a 60 day suspension. La Hacienda had a history of sales to minors that did not play well in court - they had three or four prior violations. And with a table full of six minors illegally quaffing alcoholic beverages on Cinco de Mayo, the case was not good.

At the hearing today, ABC Commissioner Jones made it clear: "We will not tolerate continued sales to minors."

The Commissioners recognized the tremendous financial hardship of suspensions, and offered the restaurant the option paying a $10,000 fine for a 30 day reduction of the 60 day suspension. The owners choose the fine and will pay $10,000 and then serve a 30 day suspension.

ABC Director Elks mentioned that the staff would speak to the Franklin Beer Board about the ABC penalty. The Franklin Beer Board has a reputation for imposing harsh penalties for repeat sales to minors. La Hacienda's woes may only be beginning.

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