Towny Anderson: Unanimous ruling
December 2, 2007
Steamboat SpringsSteamboat Springs — Regarding the situation at the Pirate's Pub, Colorado Liquor Regulations state: — Regarding the situation at the Pirate's Pub, Colorado Liquor Regulations state:
Steamboat Springs — Regarding the situation at the Pirate’s Pub, Colorado Liquor Regulations state:
“No person licensed under Articles 46, 47, and 48 of Title 12, nor any employee or agent of such person licensed under these Articles shall engage in or permit the following: : (3). Any person on the licensed premises touching, caressing or fondling the breasts, buttocks, anus or genitals of any other person.” (Colorado Department of Revenue, Division of Liquor/ Tobacco Enforcement, Colorado Code of Regulations 1 C.C.R. 203-2, Regulation 47-900. Conduct of Establishment, Subsection B. “Attire and conduct of employees and patrons”.)
These are regulations, not guidelines.
State statute allows municipalities to enforce provisions of the State Liquor Code through a duly authorized local Liquor License Authority. The Steamboat Springs Liquor License Authority is vested in City Council. Persons applying for a Liquor License in Steamboat Springs must demonstrate to the Authority that they possess good moral character. A liquor license is a privilege, not a right. Every licensee in Steamboat Springs understands this by virtue of having gone through the application process.
An alleged criminal act is tried in criminal court. An alleged violation of the Colorado Liquor Code is heard before the Liquor License Authority. This is the law. A violation of the Liquor Code is a violation of one of the standards defining good moral character. Complying with these standards is required to hold a license to serve alcohol. The evidence presented was sufficient to persuade the Liquor License Authority to unanimously conclude that a violation of Regulation 47-900B(3) occurred (vote: 5-0).
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The Liquor License Authority was then asked to decide a punishment appropriate to the violation. A majority of the Authority members found that the violation was egregious enough to warrant revocation of the defendant’s license. The defendant, in violating this particular standard of the State Liquor Code, was found to be deficient of good moral character, and therefore unfit to hold a liquor license.
A person applying for a liquor license that had allegedly engaged in the aforementioned conduct would, with objections from one or more neighbors or residents, in all likelihood be denied. Why would a licensee who was unanimously found to have violated the same standard of conduct be allowed to keep his or her license?