A bar on Main Campus was busted by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board on Sunday, Jan. 19, and nine students were cited for underage drinking.
Maxi’s Pizza Subs & Bar, located in the heart of Liacouras Walk, was cited for serving alcohol to minors around 12:30 a.m.
According to PLCB Enforcement Officer Frank Spera, a few grievances were brought to his attention before the raid took place.
“We received a couple of complaints of the restaurant,” Spera said. “Specific complaints that they were selling alcohol to minors.”
Upon receiving the information, a full investigation was conducted and officers gathered inside the establishment to acquire more evidence.
“The officers announced that they were conducting an ‘open inspection’ for minors and began checking everyone’s identification,” Spera said. “Apparently, nine minors were found and cited for underage drinking, and four of them had fake IDs.”
Under state law, an establishment may receive administrative liabilities if a minor was served alcohol inside the premises, such as a fine between $1,000 and $5,000 and a suspension or revocation of their liquor license. Also, the Dram Shop Law can hold the licensee, servers and manager legally responsible for any death, injury or damage caused by the minor.
“The first step in the process is a notice of violation from our district office commander, explaining that [Maxi’s] was in violation of serving alcohol to minors on the date in question,” Spera said. “The notice usually get sent out within thirty days of the incident.”
Within six months of the event, they will also receive an official citation from the PLCB Bureau headquarters in Harrisburg, Pa., explaining they will have to appear in court in front of the administrative judge.
“Business who are allowed to serve drinks and have a license for it, should already know the rules,” said Fausto Gil-Corona, a junior computer science major. “Not only they are causing trouble for themselves, but also for teenagers under the legal age, who are risking their lives by drinking alcohol.”
Spera said tips from concerned citizens are their primary source of intelligence in the fight to deter underage drinking.
“The way we usually operate is by people calling from an ‘1-800’ hotline or through our website, and make a complaint,” Spera said. “Apparently, that is what happened here. We investigate every complaint.”
Acting Director of Campus Safety Services Charles Leone said both Philadelphia and Temple Police were not involved in the raid.
“We were really surprised,” Leone said. “We weren’t even aware of the issue at that time.”
Leone said a CSS review of the nine names cited showed four were Temple students.
A full investigation by Temple Police will also be conducted, given the amount of citations and arrests that were handed down to students during Fall 2013.
“We know it’s a right of passage for some college students to be on their own and start drinking when they are underage,” Spera said. “But there are consequences because it is against the law.”
Eddie Barrenechea can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @EddieB_TU.