BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Spanish Town Parade was just one of many Mardi Gras weekend events throughout the state. The revelry also included a number of area vendors receiving violations from Louisiana Alcohol and Tobacco Control for selling to minors.
"Having an alcohol permit is a privilege, it's not a right and the privilege can be taken away," said ATC Public Information Officer Angelle Dupre.
According to the ATC, Baton Rouge ranked the highest in the state with seven illegal sales in 15 checks. Shreveport was a close second with a 46 percent sell rate to minors and New Orleans was third at 35 percent. In Baton Rouge, that included two businesses Boudreaux and Thibodeaux's and 3rd Street Pub both being issued their third offense within three years. Both businesses declined WAFB's requests for an on camera interview.
"Baton Rouge businesses, the businesses that our ATC agents checked, that's a high percentage of those businesses issued citations for selling alcohol to minors and that's unacceptable," said Dupre.
Baton Rouge has another celebration on the way in the form of St. Patrick's Day Parade and the ATC promises to be out checking vendors once again. That has many who benefit from the festivities on Perkins Road believing it simply makes sense to follow the rules.
"There's really no benefit to us to serve someone under the age of 21," said Zippy's General Manager Blair Kornegay.
Kornegay says St. Patrick's Parade traffic helps account for the restaurant's second busiest day of the year but adds his staff makes it a point to everyone who purchases alcohol to provide identification.
"That underage individual is the one that later on in the evening is going to be the problem we don't want to have from the get go so it's easier just to eliminate it from the start, play by the rules and do what we've got to do as a responsible business," added Kornegay.
ATC officials say there will be serious consequences for those who do not comply.
in fact a third offense results in a mandatory hearing which could mean a hefty fine or license suspension.
"It's important for us to go out there and make those businesses and all businesses in the state know that our agents are going to be watching. they need to be cognizant of who walks in their establishment and who their vendors are selling to," said Dupre.