A Lawrence nightclub has been fined $1,400 for liquor license violations and faces automatic suspension of its license if further violations are found.
In an administrative order served this week, Pizazz, 901 Miss., was found to have violated provisions of its liquor license which prohibit it to serve alcohol to non-members and to stay open after hours.
Pizazz recently changed its name to the Power Plant.
On the charge of after-hours operation, the club was fined $500 and received a suspended 15-day license suspension.
Jim Conant, acting director of the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Division, said this morning that the 15-day suspension would automatically take effect if further after hours violations were found.
"The hearing officer found that that was an aggravated violation," he said.
THE CLUB also was fined $600 and $300 for two non-member violations. A third charge of non-member access was dismissed.
The nightclub has 30 days in which to appeal the order. Mike Riling, the nightclub's attorney, was out of town this morning and could not be reached for comment.
"If we don't have a stay, that order becomes final," Conant said. "At that time they owe the fines. If they pay the fines, the 15-day suspension is stayed."
But the stay could be lifted and the suspension made effective if the nightclub is found to be in further violation of after-hours regulations, he said.
THE CHARGES were made after joint investigations of the nightclub by the Lawrence Police Department and ABC agents in September and October.
Law enforcement officers testified in the administrative hearing that the club was open after hours and serving alcohol on the morning of Sept. 21. They also testified the club served alcohol to non-members on Oct. 17, 18 and 19 and to minors on Oct. 19.
Witnesses for Pizazz testified that on Sept. 21, only employees and their friends who were waiting for rides were in the club after hours. They also denied other charges.
An appeal of charges that the club violated its liquor license in September is scheduled to be heard by the state secretary of revenue on March 11.
At the same time, the nightclub will present an appeal of the recent denial of its request for a drinking establishment license, which would eliminate the need to require memberships.
The nightclub's Class B license was renewed Feb. 13.