Alcohol violations bring suspensions to Statesboro businesses

Taisha White

The new year in Statesboro began with a bust for six businesses as each endure alcohol beverage suspensions given to them at a probation sentencing on Jan. 3 due to underage selling.

The businesses that were placed under suspension and probation were Main Street Bar & Grill, Gnats Landing of Statesboro, El Jalapeño Mexican Restaurant, GATA’s Sports Bar and Grill, Chili’s Bar and Grill and Ruby Tuesday.

Each business has been placed under a range of suspension terms from three days to 21 days with a range of probation terms from a six month period to a 24-month period.

The sentencings were determined by the Statesboro City Council, as they looked over how many violations a particular business has obtained during a five year period as well as the severity of the violation.

Clyde Al Chapman III, manager of Gnats Landing, believes that his business is doing all that they can to ensure that underage selling, as well as other possible violations, do not show up.

“We are doing everything possible to make this thing work. We have done plenty of things to take measures to make sure that this does not happen,” Chapman said. “I want the police, the council, the city and the restaurant owners to come together to make this thing work to make it easier for all of us.”

Chapman also spoke out on the alcohol ordinance time frame. He wanted it to be knocked down from five years to two to three years due to certain places having a clean slate. He also pointed out that additional rules are added to the ordinance so often that some businesses may not be aware of them at the moment.

Anderson Hughes, sophomore pre-nursing major, believes that the blame should be placed on the businesses more than the students.

“The businesses should be responsible and making sure that they are not selling to an underage crowd,” Hughes said.

Martin Torchia, junior film and production major, thinks that businesses that serve alcohol should find ways to appeal to both the underage crowd and the over-21 crowd.

“Businesses should be able to let the underage people come into the business, but they need to be aware that they are under 21,” Torchia said. “They can still market to both sides with other things like their food and other things that can bring a crowd in without any issues regarding selling to the wrong person.”

Alcohol beverage suspensions and probations have begun as of Jan. 5 and the last suspension is set to end Jan. 26.