Boomers Sports Bar, Ironton, received a citation for improper conduct – disorderly activity. At 11:35 p.m., agents observed approximately 70 patrons crowded and shoulder-to-shoulder around the main bar area as a live band played on stage.
Numerous patrons stood while consuming alcohol and intermingling with other social groups. Little to no social distancing measures were in place and few patrons or staff wore facial coverings.
The above case will go before the Ohio Liquor Control Commission for potential penalties, including fines and/or the suspension or revocation of liquor permits.
The OIU is a branch of the Ohio State Highway Patrol. OIU agents are fully-sworn, plainclothes peace officers responsible for enforcing Ohio’s alcohol, tobacco, and food stamp fraud laws.
According to their self-description: Agents investigate suspected illegal activity in liquor permit premises (bars, restaurants, carry-outs, etc.).
Investigations may be related to locations operating without a permit or to drug, gambling, counterfeiting, or property crimes. Agents also investigate the illegal manufacture of alcohol, as well as businesses and individuals involved in food stamp fraud.
Related activities may include compliance checks to ensure liquor permit premises are not selling alcohol or tobacco products to underage individuals or trace-back investigations to determine whether alcohol was illegally sold or provided to underage or already intoxicated persons involved in an alcohol-related crash or incident.
Because of their secretive operations, the offender never really knows who they are until it’s far too late. By the time the OIU reveals their identity, it’s when they are sharing their findings in court.
These days, the OIU is getting more publicity because they are additionally tasked with investigating claims of businesses breaking the ever-changing laws regarding social distancing, bar regulations, liquor delivery, and blatant violations of Ohio Department of Health (ODH) orders.
The OIU is divided into six districts. For citizens, it is encouraged that complaints be issued to the Central District in Columbus. From there, they will assign the complaint to the correct field office. You can call (614) 644-2415 or email ADOIUCent@dps.ohio.gov