Highway deaths in and around Baltimore, Rockville, the District, and Frederick, MD, occur for dozens of reasons every month. Many of these fatal car, motorcycle and commercial trucking accidents could possibly be avoided or mitigated in one way or another, but sadly not all. Drunken driving contributes to a significant percentage of car, truck and motorcycle crashes, a result of which is a substantial number of occupant injuries including closed-head trauma, spinal cord damage, and internal injuries.
A local Annapolis bar was in the news recently as law enforcement and the public focused on the serving of alcohol to underage patrons. According to news articles, the Acme Bar and Grill is under fairly intense scrutiny for an episode that occurred this past summer. Based on reports, the bar allegedly served several underage customers on June 15, two of whom died in a motorcycle wreck just minutes after walking out of that drinking establishment.
The incident raised serious questions about the bar’s practices vis-à-vis serving underage individuals, in particular those who may go out and drive a motor vehicle while intoxicated. While personal responsibility is a fine ideal, the law stipulates that people under the age of 21 cannot be served liquor legally. Criminal charges are not unusual in cases like this where a young person has been injured or died after being sold alcohol at a bar, liquor store or restaurant.
According to news articles, last summer’s incident involved two people allegedly known to at least one of the bar’s staff to be underage. Events following the entry of 20-year-old
Craig Eney, Jr., and 19-year-old Kelcey Silva transpired rather quickly, based on police reports. After stopping by the bar around in the early morning hours of that fateful day, both individuals consumed sufficient alcohol to raise their blood-alcohol content (BAC) to levels exceeding the legal limit of 0.08 percent.
Reports coming out the Annapolis medical examiner’s office showed that Eney had a BAC of 0.10, while Silva’s was more than twice the legal limit at 0.17 percent. After leaving the bar, the two got onto a motorcycle and were subsequently killed in a traffic collision near the United State Naval Academy.
An attorney retained by the Annapolis PD maintains that underage drinking in establishments such as the Acme Bar and Grille impairs young adults’ judgment especially in surroundings like the bar in question. While the city and police force are feeling the pressure from many sides to perhaps make an example of Acme, others, including the bar’s owners feel the bar is being singled out and not being treated fairly.
According to news reports, Acme’s lawyer believes the goal of the city administration and others is to have the bar’s liquor license revoked. The legal team representing the bar, has called attention to the fact that although the Annapolis PD had so far refrained from pressing charges against Acme’s bartender, the bouncer at the door, as well as other underage patrons, the police are nonetheless looking toward liquor board-related penalties.
Apparently, the city decided to pursue liquor board citations as an initial measure, due in large part that a potential acquittal in a criminal trail would actually prevent the city’s liquor board from taking any further legal action against the bar. Based on news reports, challenging a liquor board citation is rare, but if contested the matter is typically resolved during a single meeting of the city’s liquor board. At the time of the news report, the meeting was to take place on November 2nd.
Speculation swirls over handling of Acme case, HometownAnnapolis.com, November 1, 2011