Five Bars Cited For Selling Late, Lack Of Social Distancing

Aug 3, 2020

Five Ohio bars were cited in the first weekend of the state’s new order banning alcohol sales past 10pm.

The Ohio Investigative Unit has said most bars it’s checked out are following the rules on social distancing.

But Friday night, four northeast Ohio bars were cited for allowing too many patrons to stand, gather in close groups and dance.

Three of those bars were also cited for violating the alcohol sales order, including one agents said had locked the front door but allowed customers to come in a rear door. Agents went to another northeast Ohio bar around half past midnight on Saturday, where they say bartenders were still pouring drinks.

The Ohio Liquor Control Commission can fine violators or suspend or revoke their liquor permits.

Gov. Mike DeWine announced the 10pm rule on Thursday and signed the order Friday. His spokesperson said outbreaks of the virus have been traced back to restaurants and bars, and says the 10 p.m. ban is trying to target certain behavior of people getting out of their seats to intermingle. Critics have said specific data proving those outbreaks have not been provided.

The rules for bars and restaurants to reopen were designed by owners and those working in the industry. The rules note that patrons must be seated and can't stand and congregate together.

The order came as health departments are reporting spikes in COVID-19 cases in 20-29 year olds and 30-39 year olds.