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Pub loses licence for two days

Andrew Raven
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (May 17/06) - A downtown nightclub had its liquor license suspended for 48 hours Monday for violating liquor laws.

The Liquor Licensing Board has also fined the Raven Pub $500 and ordered staff to attend a server training course.

NNSL Photo/graphic

The Raven Pub, a nightclub on 50th Avenue, had its liquor license suspended for two days for allowing drunkeness on the premises. A lawyer for the nightclub said they are considering an appeal. - Andrew Raven/NNSL photo

The suspension will run from Monday, June 5 to Wednesday, June 7.

Following a nearly four-hour hearing, the board sided with a liquor inspector who said he saw a drunken woman in the Raven on March 5, 2006. The woman, a bar regular, was having trouble standing and talking, the inspector testified.

When she left the Raven, the woman fell flat on her face, said Joe Sutton, who has been doing inspections for about three years. "She couldn't seem to function on her own," said Sutton. Under territorial laws, bars are not allowed to have drunk people on the premises.

"Things like this can become very dangerous," said lawyer Sheldon Toner, who prosecuted the case for the territorial government.

Robert Kasting, lawyer for the Raven, argued there was no conclusive evidence showing the woman was drunk. The hearing was told that neither the inspector nor bar staff had seen her drinking alcohol. Kasting suggested the woman could have been ill.

Kasting also said the Raven takes precautions to make sure drunk people do not get into the bar and patrons are escorted out when they reach the limit.

Owner Jim Sturge declined to comment following the ruling but Kasting said the decision could be appealed to the territorial Supreme Court.

"It's pretty clear at this point that's something we have to consider," he told the board.

The liquor licensing board is a quasi-judicial panel of five that regulates drinking in bars and restaurants.