Ark. senator wants police to tell ABC of problems at restaurants, bars

Senator wants police to tell ABC of problems at alcohol serving locations

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- The Power Ultra Lounge shooting wasn't the first problem to happen at the nightclub. There were previous calls and complaints.

One senator believes if the Alcohol Beverage Control Board knew about it, they may have had their license taken away before the violent night. A new committee will study whether police departments across the state should be required to notify the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board whenever they get a call or complaint about a restaurant, bar, or nightclub that serves alcohol.

Senator Eddie Joe Williams said there is no rule or law that ensures ABC will be notified about police encounters or complaints at businesses.

“We need to investigate the process when there's a complaint filed against a local club. How do we know that back at the ABC? Currently there are no rules or laws that requires them to call," said Senator Williams.

Senator Williams is leading a study including county, city, and police leaders as well as legislators and the ABC Board. He wants to make sure there isn't a gap in communication between police and ABC. He thinks each and every call or complaint to police should then be reported to the state.

“I think that’s the goal. We’ll see. That’s why you do a study. You get the people at the table and everyone gives input, is that practical? I think it is," said Senator Williams.

ABC told THV11 there is currently a cooperative effort to send them reports, but police aren't required. With almost 6,000 business with alcohol licenses across the state, they get reports weekly.

Senator Williams said the study began yesterday. He said it should take 60 to 90 days and if legislation is required, that will be discussed in the 2019 session.

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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