Daily Egyptian

Stix to face two-week suspension in June

By Reagan Gavin, Editor-in-chief

At the Local Liquor Control Commission meeting on Tuesday, Stix Bar was suspended for two weeks by the Carbondale City Council after permitting two underage people into the bar on January 20. Stix was fined for over occupancy on Jan. 27 and 28. The fines by the Carbondale City Council for both events total over $2,800.

The commissioners decided on a two-week suspension from June 18 to July 1.

Carbondale city attorney Jamie Snyder said the two 17-year-olds were allowed into the bar and were found holding alcoholic beverages by Carbondale Police Officer Joseph Wild. Snyder said that one of the minors used a siblings ID to gain entry and then rolled the stamp on the hand of the other minor.

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“It is our practice in the city attorney’s office not to file every charge for persons under the age of 19 for entering the bar,” Snyder said during the Local Liquor Control Commission meeting. “We typically look for the age of the individual and our cut off is a person who is under the age of 18 because of the fact that that person is more likely than not a high school student. As the case is in this situation.”  

Snyder recommended to the council Stix face a $750 fine per minor, which is the maximum fine for the offense plus the cost of the proceedings and a 30-day suspension.

“This is to send a message that they have to do what our code says,” Snyder said during the meeting. “They have the affirmative duty to verify the age of every person who enters that establishment. And they are to verify that every person in that establishment that has an alcoholic beverage is over the age of 21.”

The attorney for Stix, Alfred Sanders said the 17-year-old who used the sisters ID looked very similar to the picture on drivers license.

“I don’t know how a bar is supposed to do that,” Sanders said to the council members. “You’ve got someone standing there that looks like the person in the driver’s license, you let them in. I don’t know how they’re supposed to go around that.”

Sanders said the 17-year-olds did not testify and were not held accountable for using the fake ID to gain entry.

“Law enforcement is not going after these kids and as long as they pay no penalty for doing this they will keep doing it,” Sanders said during the meeting. “What you are doing is putting the burden on the local businesses.”

Sanders said to the council members the bar shouldn’t face a 30-day suspension and at most should get a letter of reprimand.

“To fine them and shut them down for something they can’t stop, you might as well close every bar in this town because it happens every night in this town,” Sanders said.

Council members said during the commission meeting that the 30-day suspension was too long of a sentence for this incident. However a progressive punishment model — when punishment for offenses gets worse as repeat offenses tally up — would still be used based on previous underage cases.

“The word on the street is if you want to go in and get served, you go to Stix,” Councilman Jeff Doherty said. “We’re starting to see the cases coming to us that raise that out. Here’s two 17-year-olds from Red Bud my gosh.”

Editor-in-chief Reagan Gavin can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @RGavin_DE.

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