Monmouth County Go-Go Bar Shut Down by NJ Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control
According to a recent article, the New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control suspended the liquor license privileges of go-go bar Fantasies on Route 35 in Keyport. Not only will the liquor license owned by Fantasies be suspended for a total of 135 days, but the licensee will be required to pay a fine totaling of $300,000. The basis for this disciplinary charge was separate acts of “lewdness” by Fantasies’ employees. The original violation dates are alleged to have occurred in 2016 but Fantasies has defended against the charges until finally entering a non-vult plea to the charges.
Lewd Activity Charges From NJ ABC
Pursuant to N.J.A.C. 13:2-23.6(a)(1), “no licensee shall engage in or allow, permit, or suffer on or about the licensed premises any lewdness or immoral activity.” The term “suffer” means that the State does not need to prove that the license holder was even aware of the conduct. Most ABC violations are a strict liability offense. The State does not need to prove or demonstrate that you, as the owner of the license, had any knowledge of this lewd activity.
Moreover, even if the licensee treats these “dancers” as “independent contractors”, the ABC will consider them employees for any possible violations that the dancers may take part in. For example, if a dancer at a go-go bar exposes their intimate parts or physically engage the patrons in audience participation, you as the licensee may receive a Notice of Charges from the Division of ABC. Depending on the type of violation and the number of prior offenses, you could be facing Suspension or Revocation of your liquor license.
Liquor License Suspension for Lewdness
Every ABC violation carries a “presumptive penalty” pursuant to N.J.A.C. 13:2-19.11. For Lewd Activity, the presumptive penalty will vary anywhere from a 30-day license suspension up to a outright license revocation. Some of the considerations in the presumptive penalty schedule is the number of prior offenses and whether audience participation is involved.
New Jersey Liquor License ABC Attorney
For more information about liquor license suspensions and ABC charges, please do not hesitate to contact our office directly at 732-858-5857.