Six bars' liquor permits have been cited throughout Ohio, including one in Lebanon, after Ohio State Highway Patrol's investigative unit discovered violations of orders put in place to help curb COVID-19 infection.
A press release from the OSHP investigative unit states the bars cited were investigated as a result of "receiving complaints of blatant violations of orders in place to reduce the spread of the coronavirus."
Only one of the six locations cited is in the Greater Cincinnati region: Kings Grill in Lebanon was given a citation for violating Governor DeWine's liquor curfew order. OSHP said "agents entered the establishment and were able to purchase beer at 10:45 p.m., after the 10:00 p.m. time restriction for on-premises sales of alcoholic beverages." WCPO reached out to the bar for comment, but owners declined.
The cases will go to the Ohio Liquor Control Commission and bars cited could receive fines or the suspension or revocation of their liquor permits.
The Investigative Unit of the OSHP is comprised of plainclothes officers who enforce the state's alcohol, tobacco and food stamp fraud laws, and has been in existence long before the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the pandemic, however, the law enforcement branch has also performed "safety checks associated with the COVID-19 directives," the press release reads.
In addition to Kings Grill in Lebanon, five other bars throughout the state were cited for varying violations, from selling alcohol after 10:00 p.m. to not enforcing staff facial coverings.
Also cited were:
- Wayne County Speedway in Orville for the majority of employees and staff not wearing facial covering, disorderly activity and additional violations relating to spectators and operations.
- Moose Lodge in Waverly for selling alcohol past 10:00 p.m. and insanitary conditions.
- Laynes Lounge in New Carlisle for selling alcohol past 10:00 p.m.
- Hotwired Restaurant Group LLC, known as Tempe Taco in Reynoldsburg for selling more than the allowed number of alcoholic to-go beverages for off-premises consumption.
- Burnzies Old Trail Inn LLC, known as Burnzie's Old Trail in Columbus for selling alcohol past 10:00 p.m.