Recent violence could bring stiff consequences to area bars

Recent violence could bring stiff consequences to area bars


Recent violence could bring stiff penalties to Rock County bars.

Shots fired outside a town of Milton bar have local police drafting up ways to dish out demerits to area businesses that could lead to the temporary revoking of liquor licenses.

Milton’s police chief said that town ordinances relating to liquor licenses haven’t changed since the 1980s and are long overdue for an overhaul.

“I’m trying to gain some compliance as far as underage drinking goes and as far as noise violations goes,” said town of Milton police chief Tom Kunkel.

Kunkel said they’re considering a proposal to award demerit points.

Under the proposal, any business in town with a liquor license that accumulates enough points could lose their liquor license.

Officials turned to some of their neighbors to help them develop the proposed ordinance.

“We found one for the town of Fulton and another for the city of Madison on how they dealt with assigning demerit points for liquor law violations as well as other code violations,” said Kunkel.

This proposal comes after a shooting outside the Countryside Inn in June.

Recently the owner of that establishment said that although authorities have expressed concern about the hip-hop parties hosted there, there haven’t been any incidents inside or outside their bar since then.

“It’s tragic but to have one occurrence like that, change the laws, when it may have been a fluke verses something that’s never happened in all the years we’ve been here, seems really extreme,” said Rich Erdman.

Kunkel said another goal of the ordinance is to curb underage drinking at some of the local campgrounds.

He said that, depending on the violation, a bar could lose their license for up to 90 days.

“If the violations continue, it would be up to the town board after a hearing, whether or not they revoke the liquor license of that establishment.”

A draft of the proposed ordinance is on the town’s website.

It is unclear whether or not the board plans to vote on it at their next scheduled meeting on Monday night.