GLASGOW — A Barren County woman who gave away beer at a birthday party she held in memory of her late father has pleaded not guilty to a charge of an unlicensed person allowing the sell/barter/drink of alcohol on a business premises.
Leticia Cline held the party on Sept. 2 at a location off Mammoth Cave Road outside of Cave City that was once the garage of her father, David “Smiley” Passmore.
Cline is in the process of turning the garage space into a free community motorcycle garage on one side and a beer bar on the other. The business is not yet open.
“We were just throwing this birthday event for dad because this is in honor of him,” she said.
The event was free, as well as the beer. She estimated about 500 people turned out for the event.
“We did all the steps that we thought necessary. We talked to the state ABC (alcoholic beverage control) guy the Friday before he came out. He told us what we shouldn't do,” she said, adding that she did what he told her to do.
Cline said she had two men staffing the bar area to make sure no one under age drank and that no one over-served themselves.
“They just made sure everything went smooth. We worked really hard to make sure everything went smooth and it did,” she said. “We stopped at 8 p.m.”
About an hour before the party ended is when Joey Crews, alcoholic beverage control administrator for Barren County, responded to the event and asked where her bartender was.
“I was like, 'There's not one. Serve yourself,'” she said. “And then I saw who it was. And then he looked around. I asked him if there was a problem and he said 'no,' but said, 'we need to talk about some things next week.'”
Cline called Crews on Sept. 4 and Crews asked to meet with her. Cline met with Crews on Sept. 6, which was when he issued her the citation.
In the citation, Crews said he was informed that “a facility at 4054 Mammoth Cave Road, Cave City, Kentucky named Smiley's Garage was going to host a party that would have live entertainment and alcoholic beverages on Sept. 2 and although Leticia Cline, an operator of that business, is intending to apply for a liquor license that business as of the date of this complaint has not yet turned in its application for the liquor license or secured such a license.”
He continued to say in the citation that he saw and printed out an invitation to the event that was posted on Facebook.
“The Facebook announcement indicated that this get together was open to the public and would be serving cold beer (draft and cans) and specialty cocktails from Slow & Low.”
He also said when he went to the event, he saw a bar that was attended by a bartender and observed people going to the bar to get alcoholic beverages and putting their money in a jar. He also saw bottles of liquor at the bar and “an unknown mixture of mixed drinks and saw a large metal container filled with ice and Bud Light beer in cans.”
Crews also said in the citation that he spoke with a retired police officer from California who was staying at the campground that adjoined the party and who said he went on the premises without having an invitation, got a beer and put money in the jar.
Cline insists she is not in the wrong.
“I did everything that I could do to do it right. I guarantee that there is not one person who has had as many meetings with them before even applying for a license to make sure we did everything right as us,” she said.
Crews has explained he issued Cline a criminal summons.
“She wasn't arrested. It's a violation,” he said. “The law says that you can't trade it. If you have a license, you can sell it. You can't give it away. You can't sell it (without a license). You can't trade it. If you buy it, you have to consume it.”
Cline placed an advertisement with the Glasgow Daily Times stating her intent to apply for a non-quota retail malt beverage package license and a non-quota 4 retail malt beverage drink license.
“She has not applied for a license yet,” Crews said.
Cline is due to appear back in court on Oct. 11 for a pretrial conference.