Sep 232004
Authors: Sara Crocker

Fort Collins drinking establishments were cited for 34

liquor-license violations in 2003, making it the most cited city in

the state, according to the Colorado Department of Revenue, Liquor

Enforcement Division.

After receiving two of these liquor-license citations in the

past 12 months, Tailgate Tommy’s, 145 E Mountain Ave., has lost its

license, been suspended and ownership will be turned over.

“By Oct. 13 they will have to have completed a transfer of

ownership,” said Bob Younger, a Fort Collins Police Services

officer specializing in liquor-license enforcement.

Tailgate Tommy’s received a violation for allowing a disturbance

on its premises on Aug. 26 and failing to report it, Younger


After this violation and a previous one for serving alcohol

after hours and allowing alcohol to leave the premises, Tailgate

Tommy’s will have to close until a new owner is found.

“This is a common penalty, but it doesn’t happen as often as you

might think it would,” Younger said.

The disturbance was an altercation between a waitress and a

customer, said John Smith, a bartender at Tailgate Tommy’s. But

Smith said he plans to return to work.

“They haven’t been really clear with us about when we’re

reopening,” Smith said.

Younger said he sees liquor violations about once every two


“I would say that on a fairly regular basis we have an

establishment that has to answer to local liquor-license authority

for some offense,” Younger said.

He said this is because Fort Collins is a college town and has

more than 240 liquor licenses issued in the city.

“That’s a huge number (of licenses) for the geographical and

population size that we have here,” Younger said. “The increase of

the number of available outlets will increase the number of

available outlets that get caught.”

Younger said establishments are cited for a number of


“Probably the thing that occurs most often is either serving to

an underage person or allowing things to occur that would go

against the conduct of the establishment,” he said.

Over-serving customers, serving after hours, allowing visibly

intoxicated customers to loiter and allowing disturbances are a few

examples Younger gave of conduct against an establishment.

“People make a really big deal about alcohol, and I think it’s

because they make it so strict,” said Petrea Honychurch, a senior

landscape architecture major. She said she does not understand why

bars close at 2 a.m., since laws are different in Dominica, where

she is originally from. “I’d like to know why the law is there in

the first place.”

Senior history and Latin American studies major Erin King agreed

with Honychurch.

“I don’t understand why we have a cut-off time,” King said.

“Even if I don’t agree with it, they should follow the law.”

Younger said FCPS will continue to increase the number of

citations to establishments and minors in violation of the law.

“It’s a pretty labor-intensive, layered type of process,”

Younger said.

FCPS uses inspections of liquor-licensed premises, undercover

minors and uniformed officers who monitor the establishments as

tools to enforce liquor laws.

He said the riots from the beginning of the school year and the

death of sophomore business major Samantha Spady on Sept. 5 have

elevated the need to increase citations.

“We’re definitely trying to make sure that the entire culture

and environment in which these people can gain access to alcohol is

changed,” Younger said. “We’re definitely trying to make an impact

on the availability and the binge drinking that occurs.”

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