Michael's Beer Permit Suspension Upheld

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Knoxville (WVLT) - The suspension of Michael's beer permit will continue until an April revocation hearing.

The Knoxville Beer Board unanimously voted to continue the emergency suspension because of an underage alcohol sale in December.

Volunteer TV's Gary Loe is attended that meeting and has the latest.

The Beer Board voted to continue Michael's beer permit suspension, saying that serving alcohol to an underage drinker is reckless, irresponsible and dangerous. Knoxville Beer Board members agreed to prevent Michael's from serving beer. They fear the potential consequences of an alcohol sale to an underage drinker.

"The consequences of not accurately checking an underage person's ID are terrible. It's an egregious error," beer board member Marilyn Roddy said.

The Beer Board pulled the Kingston Pike restaurant's beer permit on emergency suspension following an underage alcohol sale on December 28th. A Michael's cocktail waitress sold to a mature looking 18-year-old female working undercover for the Knoxville Police Department.

"It's her responsibility to check ID cards, and she testified she read the eight for a three," Knoxville City Attorney Morris Kizer said.

The cocktail waitress testified she misread the birth date on the young customer's ID.

"They did look quite young. I carded both of them. One birthday said 1977, the other 1983," server Michaela Hugoboom said.

Michael's attorney argued the cocktail waitresses mistake should not force the restaurant's beer permit to be suspended for months while waiting for a previously scheduled permanent beer permit revocation hearing. Ultimately, the Beer Board denied Michael's request for reinstatement of its beer permit.

"The argument in closing statements of the defense that this was just a mistake did not ring true to me," Roddy said.

Thursday, attorneys for Michael's travel to Nashville for a hearing on the restaurant's liquor license, which is also suspended.

Michael's owner says he will reopen for regular business if his liquor license is reinstated. Currently, the Kingston Pike restaurant is only continuing its catering and banquet business without serving alcohol.