|TRENTON – The Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control today announced it has revoked the liquor license of Vineland “go-go” bar Kashmir for serving alcohol to two underage men who were killed in a one-car drunk driving crash after leaving the establishment.
According to the police reports cited in the Division’s ruling, Jonathan Rothschild, 18, of Clayton, and Ian Drebes, 20, of Franklinville, were killed when Drebes lost control of his vehicle and both were ejected from the car on Weymouth Avenue in Vineland around 2 a.m. on June 28, 2011. Toxicology tests reported that Drebes had a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .157% at the time of his death. Rothschild’s BAC was .162%. At the crash scene, both Rothschild and Drebes were found in possession of fictitious identification cards, which represented that they were 21 and 23, respectively.
The Division found the licensees, David Glassman and Jack Paik, guilty of two counts each of serving alcohol to a person under the legal age and serving alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person. Kashmir’s license will be revoked as of September 5 and Paik must divest his interest in any other ABC license by August 6, 2014. The Division has ordered that the premises of Kashmir, located at 3926 North Delsea Drive in Vineland, be barred from being the site of any future liquor license for two years.
“Kashmir failed to meet the most important and fundamental obligations of all liquor licensees,” said Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control Director Michael Halfacre. “Neither of those young men should have been allowed to set foot into the premises because they were not of age, and no person can be served alcohol when they appear intoxicated. These failures resulted in the tragic and untimely deaths of an 18-year-old and a 20-year-old.”
According to testimony from Rothschild’s girlfriend, Mandy Caudill, during the evening of June 27, 2011, both men had consumed multiple alcoholic beverages at Taylor’s Grill and Bar in Williamstown. She said that around midnight the two men began arguing in Taylor’s parking lot as they were leaving the establishment, but agreed to meet up later at Kashmir. As he was leaving Taylor’s, Drebes backed his car into a truck in a parking spot, Caudill said. He then drove away alone in his vehicle after making a cursory examination of the damage, she said. Rothschild was driven by Caudill because he was unable to drive due to his intoxication. The ABC is currently prosecuting Taylor’s for serving alcohol to the two underage men.
The trio then met up at Kashmir at around 12:30 a.m. Kashmir’s bouncer checked Drebes’ identification, which was fictitious, but did not check Caudill’s or Rothschild’s.
According to the ABC’s findings, Rothschild and Drebes each consumed five or six drinks during their approximately 90-minute stay at Kashmir. These drinks included shots of tequila, mixed drinks and beer.
Rothschild, Drebes and Caudill left Kashmir at approximately 2 a.m. A witness indicated that Caudill “pleaded” with Drebes and Rothschild not to drive because they both appeared intoxicated. Drebes drove off with Rothschild in the passenger seat “like a bat out of hell . . . tires squealing,” a witness said. Caudill followed the men in her car and was at the accident scene, where both men were pronounced dead.
“This horrific episode should serve as a wake up call to all our licensees and encourage them to get back to fundamental responsibilities of owning a liquor license,” Halfacre said. “Licensees need to check identification to make sure that those trying to gain access to their establishment or trying to order a drink are old enough to do so. They also must be aware of how much their patrons are drinking – licensees have a responsibility to ensure no one is over served.”
“Every licensee should view this as an opportunity to review their policies and procedures with their staff to make sure a tragedy like this never happens again,” Halfacre said.