An Akron bar is in trouble about two months after an underage girl crashed her car after drinking at the bar. The Ohio Investigative Unit says The Dorm is getting 6 administrative citations: 2 each for selling and furnishing liquor to someone under age 21 and 1 each for selling and furnishing liquor to someone who was already intoxicated.
The investigation after Macy Mruk, 18, was seriously injured when she crashed her car on Bath Hills Road after she was at The Dorm with friends.
Ohio Investigative Unit Spokeswoman Julie Hinds says the paperwork has been sent to the Akron Municipal Court prosecutor for consideration of criminal charges.
UPDATE Woman Ejected From Car After Bath Twp. Crash
ANALYSIS: Drinking Underage In Akron Bars
How often do you think bars serve alcohol to people under age 21?
That's a difficult question to answer, but we can shed some light on how often bars in Akron have been cited by the state for selling alcohol to minors. The Dorm, a bar in the Merriman Valley, is being criticized by some as the state investigates whether employees there served alcohol to a Revere High School student.
Macy Mruk, 18, was allegedly at that bar a month ago and drinking before crashing her car, a wreck that caused her serious injuries.
AkronNewsNow decided to pour through online databases provided by the state to determine how many violations that had to do with people under age 21 drinking in establishments that sell alcohol. Our concentration was limited to bars in the area near the Dorm and the downtown Akron/University of Akron area. Both spots attract younger crowds.
It turns out that the Dorm just got slapped with a citation for serving to an underage person in September, but there have been no other violations. In fact, there are very few at all. Of the ten bars researched, four others also got in some trouble for the same thing.
You may have noticed that most of the problems took place several years ago. That was the case as well with the other set of bars. Thursday's had the most with eight violations of selling to minors. It sounds like a lot, until you realize that it's considered a "college" bar and six of the seven citations are more than 20 years old. The other one happened more than a decade ago. While it seemed understandable, even reasonable, to AkronNewsNow that a bar might make that mistake occasionally, John Campbell with the Ohio Investigative Unit, disagreed.
"In my opinion, it's not reasonable to expect that it will," said Campbell. "I do think that if you're the liquor permit holder or employees and you're going to cater to that clientele, you certainly need to stay on top of current laws and put procedures into place to stop that from happening."
Still, whether it's happening or not, there are very few official violations for underage drinking among downtown/UA bars:
Bars that are cited for serving minors face sanctions, which in the cases noted here, usually involved a liquor license suspension that was waived if fines were paid.
Campbell says there could be other violations not noted in the database used by AkronNewsNow, possibly including those made by local police. However, Matt Mullins with the Ohio Division of Liquor Control, says all violations are reported to the state.
A manager at The Dorm told AkronNewsNow that the establishment checks IDs at the door and doesn't allow anyone inside who is under 21 years of age.
Campbell says that while it's easier for kids to make fake identification cards, technology has also made it easier for bar employees to detect them, including the use of scanners. He says having a bouncer check IDs at the door doesn't solve the problem.
"It's probably a good practice for a lot of them to screen them at the door, but the bartender has also got to be ultimately held responsible for that, so they also need to check the identification," said Campbell.
Campbell says underage drinking in bars is a big problem, but not necessarily any worse in Summit County than other parts of the state.
Previous Coverage: Woman Ejected From Car After Bath Twp. Crash, Akron Bar Accused Of Serving 18-Year Old Alcohol Before Crash
An Akron bar accused of serving an 18-year-old Revere High School student alcohol before she crashed her car is now under investigation.
The Ohio Investigative Unit received paperwork this morning from the Ohio Highway Patrol and plans to launch the investigation as early as today. At issue is where the young adult got the alcohol. Her mother points at The Dorm, a bar in the Merriman Valley, a claim that Akron Agent in Charge John Campbell says needs to be looked at in an official capacity.
"As of this point, no, I can't 100% say that she was at that bar or that she drank at that bar, but that's why we're going to do an investigation and see what results from it," said Campbell.
Campbell says he can't discuss how such investigations are conducted, but he plans to start as early as today.
"We do have the report and we'll be starting that investigation by the latest by the end of this week, I would say," said Campbell.
Campbell says it could take several weeks to complete.
Copyright © 2013 AkronNewsNow & Rubber City Radio Group |All Rights Reserved | 1795 West Market Street | Akron, OH 44313 | 330.869.9800