The coincidences are too great in the increased numbers of alcohol violations and the harsh penalties for bars and restaurants on and around Pearl Street, the Boulder Weekly argues. Boulder's Beverage Licensing Authority member Lisa Spalding on one hand and City Attorney Tom Carr on the other appear dead-set on pursuing a witch hunt against bars and restaurants serving liquor through aggressive license enforcement and harsh punishment for violations.
While in the last two years the Beverage Licensing Authority brought one to three entities before it to defend licenses each month, seven bars defended their licenses in December, and nine doing the same in January. To put those two months into perspective, a total of 20 bars defended licenses in all of 2013.
The recent harsh penalties included 6 days closure (with another 12 days of possible closure reserved in case of a repeat violations) for the Sundown for its first violation in 33-years, 9 days closure for the Walrus for its first violation in 40 years, and two days closure, plus a hefty fine for Salt for having a sign about the dangers of alcohol partially obscured.
The impact of the closures on these businesses, their employees, and ultimately the revenue that flows into the city's coffers is significant, but to the officials in charge the anti-liquor crusade seems to be more important. More on this story here.