Because a whopping 72 of its patrons were arrested for drunk-driving in a 22-month period, Baja Sharkeez in Huntington Beach will soon have to stop its entertainment at 11 p.m. nightly.
Meaning no deejay-ing or live performances after that. Though alcohol can still be served until 1:30 a.m., when the restaurant closes.
[Insert sound of head-scratching here.]
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Huntington Beach Police Chief Ken Small sent a letter to Sharkeez owner Greg Newman saying the new hours will go into effect March 1, when the restaurant renews its entertainment permit.
This curfew of sorts comes after the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control opened an investigation on the restaurant last month.
Newman, who previously said Sharkeez was being unfairly targeted due to its popularity, seems to be cooperating with police, though he's asking Small if the restaurant can get a 90-day trial with the new entertainment hours. According to the Huntington Beach Independent, Newman has met with Small to share some ideas on how to help curb alcohol consumption and the problems because of it. The restaurant will stop serving large cups or pitchers of alcohol at midnight, and is in the process of partnering with a cab company to offer vouchers for tipsy customers. He's also researching whether the restaurant can use a breathalyzer to measure customers' blood alcohol level before they get their last drink at 1:15 a.m., the Independent reports.
Huntington Beach takes the No. 1 spot in 2009 California DUI collisions among cities of its size. The city has been scrambling to find ways to address the issue, recently voting down the idea of posting mugshots of repeat DUI offenders on its Facebook page.