Honor bar owner facing charges for furnishing alcohol to a minor

HONOR — The owner of a local bar will be facing charges after law enforcement discovered 13 underage students from the Notre Dame ski team drinking in the establishment last month.

A warrant was issued by the Benzie County Prosecutor’s office for Richard G. Lewis, owner of Lumberjacks Bar, in Honor. He will be charged with 13 counts of selling/furnishing alcohol to a minor. Each charge is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and a $500 fine, if convicted.

The Benzie County Sheriff’s Office said he has not answered the warrant, or been arrested.

The charges stem from an incident which happened on Feb. 2, according to Benzie County Sheriff Ted Schendel. An anonymous tip came in around 9 p.m. that minors were drinking at the bar. Benzie County Sheriff’s deputies and the Michigan State Police responded and requested all students show their IDs.

Authorities found 18 under-aged students, which were tested to see if they had consumed alcohol. Of those 18 students, 13 were found to have been drinking, and given MIPs.

All but one of the students was from out-of-state.

According to the police report, a total of 30 students were at the bar. Some tried to leave the bar when law enforcement arrived, but were followed out and confirmed to have been drinking and under the age of 21.

The report also states deputies spoke with Lewis, who said employees had asked all the students for identification. However, Schendel said only one fake ID was found, and that students had said the place was known to sell to minors.

“Apparently, they frequent the place,” Schendel said. “It had been passed down by senior ski team members that this bar was the place to go. They said it was known to be relaxed when it came to verifying age, and had a reputation for serving under age guests.”

Schendel said aside from sending the report to the prosecutors office, a complaint has been filed with the Michigan Liquor Control Commission.

“This is a liability waiting to happen,” Schendel said. “If you’re allowing underage drinking at an establishment like this, they could hurt themselves, or others.

 

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