H Street NE Bar Da Luft Fined $5,000 for Interfering with Alcohol Board Investigation
The Alcoholic Beverage Control Board fined a lounge on the H Street corridor $5,000 for several rule violations.
Da Luft at 1242 H St. NE, which had its license suspended for several days after a fight in April, was fined for violating three Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration rules. The bar and lounge did not have an ABC Board approved manager present while alcoholic beverages were being sold, failed to show and ABRA investigator their business records and licenses and failed to keep a record of times when police were called to the bar, according to the order released today by the ABC Board.
The majority of the fine was related to the failure to show an ABRA investigator their license. An ABRA investigator visited the bar on March 19 and talked to an employee who claimed to be an ABRA licensed manager but didn’t provide his license, which all managers are required to keep with them.
Several days later, the employee, Ijiti Ajiboye Laosebikan, sent a picture of his license to the investigator, according to the Alcohol Control Board order. However, the investigator discovered that the license number was assigned to a different employee and that the license had been altered in the picture sent to investigators.
The order added an additional $500 fine because Laosebikan was the only manager present at the time of the March inspection, meaning there was not a licensed manager present while alcohol was being served.
Another $500 fine was levied because the bar and lounge refused to provide written records of every time the police had been called to the bar. In April, the bar was closed for four days after a bystander was injured and a police officer was assaulted when a brawl inside the bar spilled out onto the sidewalk.
The Board’s order also noted that the bar was accused of selling alcohol between 3 and 8 a.m. on a Saturday, a violation of D.C. law. However, that charge was dropped because a key witness was unavailable.
The bar has 30 days to pay the fine or its liquor license will be suspended. Also, if the bar violates the rules any time in the next year, they will automatically have their license suspended for two days.
Representatives from Da Luft could not be reached immediately to comment on the fine.