The owners of two South Jersey bars that served alcohol to visibly intoxicated patrons who then caused fatal motor vehicle crashes have agreed to 30-day liquor license suspensions and to sell their licenses within two years, the state Attorney General’s Office said Tuesday.
Under settlements reached by the state Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control with the owners of the liquor licenses for the Brickwall Tavern & Dining Room in Burlington City and the Alloway Village Inn in Alloway, Salem County, the licenses must be sold within two years or be indefinitely suspended afterward, the office said.
Brickwall’s license suspension began Feb. 3, and its owners will pay a $300,000 fine; the Alloway suspension will begin Sept. 4, and its owners will pay a $175,000 fine, the Attorney General’s Office said.
The settlements resolve charges filed by the division in three separate drunken driving crashes — one involving an off-duty Burlington Township police officer who was served at Brickwall in which his female passenger was killed, the other two involving intoxicated patrons served at the Alloway inn.
About 2:10 a.m. Sept. 23, 2016, after drinking at Brickwall, off-duty Officer Justin Rodriguez, 25, lost control of his Acura Integra and it slammed into a utility pole on West Front Street in Florence, killing his passenger, Ariana Williams, 27, of Florence, authorities said.
Rodriguez was sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty to vehicular homicide. Toxicology tests revealed he had a blood-alcohol level above the legal definition of drunken driving, 0.08%.
On May 9, 2013, a vehicle driven by Kenneth Furr, 30, of Woodstown, rear-ended another vehicle near Salem, killing that car’s driver and injuring its passenger, after Furr had been drinking at the Alloway Village Inn. Furr pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and assault by auto and was sentenced to 11 years in prison.
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On Nov. 29, 2015, Matthew Moore, 55, of Lower Alloways Creek, crashed his vehicle into a tree on Waterworks Road in Quinton Township, killing his nephew, 35, who was a passenger, after Moore had been drinking at the Alloway Village Inn. A jury convicted Moore of vehicular homicide; he was later sentenced to three years in prison.
State law prohibits licensed establishments from selling alcoholic beverages to any patrons “actually or apparently” intoxicated.