Barry’s bar in Lincoln, accused of over-serving man, again faces Liquor Control Commission

LINCOLN — A popular Lincoln sports bar near Memorial Stadium was back before the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission on Tuesday.

Barry’s, at Ninth and Q Streets, is accused of over-serving a 21-year-old man, but the bar’s lawyers said the man’s blood-alcohol content was low enough that it exonerates the establishment.

In April the commission fined the bar $5,000 over two allegations that the bar had served clearly intoxicated patrons on Sept. 23, a Husker football game day.

The bar also had to end bottle service, which allows a customer to buy an entire bottle of liquor; obtain advance approval of social media promotions; and submit plans for increased security.

The incident before the commission on Tuesday took place on Jan. 13, before the commission required the bar to meet specific conditions.

A Lincoln police officer said he went to the bar and saw a man sitting at a table with three bottles of liquor and various beers. The man was talking loudly, spilled beer on women next to him and almost spilled another pitcher of beer.

The officer took the man outside and a Breathalyzer test showed the man had a BAC of .156. The legal limit to drive is .08.

Mike Kelley, an attorney for Barry’s, said that breath test is low. Go into most establishments in Nebraska, Kelley said, and there will be people with a BAC of .156.

The man, Kelley said, was a cowboy from rural Nebraska who is probably boisterous even when he’s not intoxicated, so he may have appeared more drunk.

Assistant Attorney General Milissa Johnson-Wiles said the case isn’t based on the BAC but rather the physical signs of intoxication and the fact Barry’s employees did not try to remove the man.

The commission took the charge under advisement and will issue a ruling  later . If the bar is found guilty, its liquor license could be suspended, canceled or revoked.

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