PUT-IN-BAY, Ohio — Agents from the Ohio Investigative Unit (OIU) cited two Put-In-Bay establishments over the weekend after receiving complaints of blatant violations of Ohio Department of Health orders in place to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
Agents visited the following liquor-permitted establishments and issued citations after witnessing the violations:
Commodore Resorts, known as Mist Bar, Put-In-Bay, received an administrative citation for improper conduct – disorderly activity. Agents observed numerous patrons standing and congregating with no social distancing measures in place around both the bar and swim-up bar, as well as in the pool.
Niese Brothers Associates, known as T&J’s Smokehouse, Put-In-Bay, received an administrative citation for improper conduct – disorderly activity. Agents observed patrons inside the establishment standing in large groups, with the majority not wearing masks. The outside patio was packed with patrons, while people were shoulder to shoulder on the dance floor. Security staff, with masks around their necks, checked identification as a long line of people waited to enter the premise.
These cases will go before the Ohio Liquor Control Commission for potential penalties, including fines and/or the suspension or revocation of liquor permits.
Although many bars and restaurants statewide were found in compliance with health orders, a number of warnings were issued throughout the weekend.
“We continue to work with our law enforcement partners and local health departments following up on complaints to ensure liquor-permitted establishments maintain compliance, so all patrons can enjoy a healthy experience,” said OIU Agent-in-Charge Michelle Thourot. “We educate liquor-permit holders about the order and share information about the best practices agents have observed at compliant establishments to help those who are finding it more difficult. However, when egregious violations are observed, enforcement action is taken. We all need to work together by following the precautions put in place to make these establishments safe and compliant with the directives.”
The Ohio Investigative Unit is made up of fully-sworn, plainclothes peace officers responsible for enforcing Ohio’s alcohol, tobacco, and food stamp fraud laws. Agents conduct compliance checks to ensure the liquor permit premises are compliant with the Ohio Liquor Control Act. Agents also act on complaints of illegal activity on liquor permit premises. In addition to providing the safety checks associated with the COVID-19 directives, OIU agents continue to perform their normal compliance checks to ensure the liquor permit premises are complying with the Ohio Liquor Control Act.