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Sept 21, 2018

TABC Files Administrative Charges Against Galveston Bar with Alleged Ties to Fatal June 4 Crash

GALVESTON – The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has filed an administrative case against a Galveston bar whose employees are accused of selling alcohol to the suspect in a June 4 drunk-driving fatality.

The Island Pier Club, 1702 Avenue O in Galveston, has been cited for sale of alcohol to an intoxicated person following a TABC investigation which began immediately after the June 4 accident. The investigation found evidence that two employees of the Island Pier Club, Shafay Look and Jon Ward, sold alcohol to customer Gerilynn Weberlein, despite signs that she was intoxicated.

After leaving the bar in her vehicle shortly after 10 p.m., police say Weberlein was involved in a collision with two bicyclists. One of the bicyclists, Marco Beltran, later died of his injuries. Weberlein has been charged by Galveston police with one count of intoxication manslaughter and a charge of intoxication assault.

Bartenders Look and Ward were arrested by local police on Sept. 17 and charged with selling alcohol to an intoxicated person, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine.

TABC's case against the Island Pier Club could result in a civil fine or temporary suspension of the business' license to sell alcohol.

"The vast majority of retailers understand that they have a responsibility to prevent any sale of alcohol to an intoxicated person," said Bentley Nettles, TABC Executive Director. "Cases such as this illustrate the tragic consequences of not following the law. TABC is grateful to the investigators of the Galveston County District Attorney's Office and the Galveston Police Department for their diligence and assistance during this investigation."

Now that the administrative case has been filed, the business owners have the option of settling the case with TABC for an agreed-upon penalty, or seeking a hearing with the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH).

The criminal cases against Look and Ward are being prosecuted by the Galveston County District Attorney.

Contact: Chris Porter TABC Public Information Officer (512) 206-3462