The state ABC Commission could suspend a Chapel Hill bar’s alcohol permits for at least 21 days and fine the bar up to $15,000 for serving an underage customer charged in a fatal wreck last summer.
The owners of He’s Not Here on West Franklin Street have agreed to the compromise penalties for violating the state law against underage alcohol sales in April, June and July. The commission has not yet accepted the proposed penalties, negotiated by ABC legal staff and the bar.
He’s Not Here, according to state records, could settle the April and June violations with two 50-day suspensions or $5,000 fines. The maximum fine allowed under state law is $5,000.
The July violation could garner a 30-day permit suspension, or a 21-day suspension and a $5,000 fine.
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Investigators have said former UNC student Chandler Kania drank alcohol at an off-campus party on July 18 before he and others used fake identification to drink at He’s Not Here and another Chapel Hill bar, La Residence.
Kania, 20, of Asheboro, is accused of driving the wrong way on Interstate 85 and causing a July 19 wreck. He faces multiple charges, including driving while impaired and three counts of second-degree murder.
The wreck killed three people in the other car – Felecia Harris, 49, of Charlotte, Darlene McGee, 46, of Charlotte, and Jahnice Beard, 6, of Brooklyn, N.Y. A 9-year-old girl in the car was seriously injured.
Investigators said Kania’s blood alcohol level after the wreck was 0.17 – more than twice the state's legal limit for someone 21 and older. Both bars, Kania and his parents have been named in three civil lawsuits.
The state ABC Commission settled the case against La Residence in November after rejecting an earlier penalty as not tough enough. The restaurant had its permits suspended for 14 days in December and paid a $5,000 fine.
The commission offered He’s Not Here a compromise in September that would have allowed the bar to surrender its permits for the July violation. He’s Not Here appealed that offer to the state Office of Administrative Hearings.