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Beehive Tavern cited with liquor violations

ST. CHARLES – A downtown bar has been cited with liquor violations in connection with a recent DUI crash, a city employee said Thursday.

The Beehive Tavern and Grille, 204 W. Main St., was cited with permitting an intoxicated person to loiter on its premises and with selling liquor to an intoxicated person or persons, the employee said.

The allegations and potential penalties are expected to be discussed March 4 during a hearing with the St. Charles Liquor Commission.

Beehive owner Steve Baginski said he is still looking into the claims.

According to a St. Charles police report, a 22-year-old St. Charles woman was charged Feb. 1 with driving under the influence and driving with a blood-alcohol content greater than 0.08 percent after hitting a parked car in the 100 block of South Third Street. Police forwarded the report to the Liquor Commission because it appeared she was either over-served by The Beehive or was allowed to remain on the premises while intoxicated; both situations violate local ordinances.

Baginski said he has no problem accepting responsibility when a violation is "truly our fault," but individuals must be held accountable as well.

"We don't need to pass the buck to just the owners," he said. "People need to be responsible for their actions."

Bar owners in recent months have joined forces to reduce such problems as over-serving and fights after the City Council threatened to change closing time from 2 a.m. to 1 a.m. Acting as the St. Charles Tavern Association, they have set last call at 1:20 a.m., posted signs warning patrons against fighting and banned troublemakers.

Baginski is the association's spokesperson.

He said the association has made "great strides" in ensuring people aren't over-served and noted that fights are down. The association's efforts shouldn't be judged on this incident involving the Beehive, he said.

"I don't think this reflects on what the association's doing at all," Baginski said.

Mayor Don DeWitte – the city's liquor commissioner – did not have a comment.

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