Popular Pt. Pleasant Beach Bar Fined $500K, Suspended for 30 Days For Over-Serving Patron Killed in 2013 Crash
Martell’s Tiki Bar, the popular Pt. Pleasant Beach adult playground, was fined $500,000 and will have its license to serve alcohol suspended for thirty days this fall for over-serving vodka to a female patron who caused a car crash in Old Bridge that killed her and severely injured another woman, according to a settlement with the Division of Alcohol Beverage Control announced by Acting Attorney General John Hoffman.
Ashley Sara Chieco of Wood-Ridge, then 26 years old, drank vodka at Martell’s from 11:07 am on August 16, 2013 until an hour or so before the 6 pm accident in which she was driving the wrong way on Route 18. Chieco was killed and Dana Corrar, then 55, of Old Bridge was severely injured. Chieco left Martell’s in an SUV that did not belong to her, but looked similar to her own vehicle. Her blood alcohol level when she died was .189, more than double the legal limit of .08, according a NJ.com report of incident.
Under the terms of the settlement announced by Hoffman and ABC Director Michael Halfacre, Martell’s license to serve alcohol will be suspended from September 28, 2015 through October 28, 2015. In addition, all staff involved in the service of alcohol at Martell’s will be required to undergo training in the safe service of alcohol, which will be overseen by a compliance monitor approved by the ABC and paid for by Martell’s. The monitoring requirement will last as long as the current owners hold an interest in the alcoholic beverage license. Martell’s had been charged with one count of service of alcohol to an intoxicated patron and had pleaded “non-vult,” or no contest.
“There can be deadly consequences when alcohol and driving are mixed, so it is vitally important that establishments that serve alcohol, do so responsibly,” said Hoffman. “It is unlawful in this state to serve alcohol to a person who is actually or apparently intoxicated and the repercussions of not abiding by the law have been brought to bear in this tragic case.”
“Our office has repeatedly pursued and penalized establishments that do not keep close watch over who and how much they serve,” Halfacre said, “Now is the time for all license holders to review their standards and practices for alcohol service to ensure that another tragedy like this one does not occur.”