KAM’s violates Champaign liquor laws, resulting in suspension of license


Jessica Jutzi

Students sit at KAM’s bar on Tuesday, Feb. 21. Columnist Hayley Nagelberg is excited about Blueberry the penguin’s visit, and thinks students should be more informed about endangered species.

By Jessica Bursztynsky, Staff Writer

Campustown bar KAM’s is facing legal repercussions after admitting to four Champaign liquor law violations in late 2016.

The penalties, approved by Mayor and Liquor Commissioner Deborah Frank Feinen, include a six day suspension of KAM’s liquor license, which was approved for Feb. 26 to 28 and March 27 to 29, and will result in the bar being closed for those days, said Deputy Liquor Commissioner Matt Roeschley.

After a liquor establishment faces several violations, such as KAM’s, a city hearing will be set and the establishment will follow with a negotiation for penalties.

“There are a number of different measures that the city can take as penalties under the liquor code,” Roeschley said. “There are other conditions that might relate to security or better processes to prevent the types of violations that they’re guilty of to happen in the future.”

In addition, KAM’s has agreed to installing more lighting, a better camera system and better ID readers. The bar must also only allow entry to those 21 or older for two days.

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Champaign police Sgt. Joe Ketchem said KAM’s had two violations of “announcement by licensee,” which occurs when an employee relays the message to patrons that the police are present.

Additional violations were the presence of a minor in a liquor establishment and the sale of alcohol to a person under 21.

One of KAM’s main problems, Ketchem said, was that minors were getting into the establishment through a faulty fence.

The Champaign police department will use three ways to check for penalties, said Ketchem.

Officers will sweep the streets, looking for signs of intoxicated people, do regular bar checks, in which officers will themselves enter a bar, and also lead covert minor sales, where officers will send in minors and see if they will be sold alcohol.

Bars will be issued violations relating to their size, Ketchem said. So a bar with higher occupancy, such as KAM’s or the Red Lion, will have to have 13 or more tickets issued to patrons in one night for the bar to receive a violation.

The police department will do raids solely to enforce the law and do not receive any funds from ticketing bars or students. Students have a “grand idea that the police department makes money from this,” which is not the case, said Ketchem.

KAM’s did not return multiple requests for comment.

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