Owner of bar linked to 72 DUIs: Police are picking on my business
The owner of a Huntington Beach bar under investigation by state officials because of the high number of drunk-driving cases linked to the establishment said he cannot be blamed for what his customers do.
"What happens on the highway, we cannot control," said Ron Newman, owner of Baja Sharkeez. "We don't serve anybody that's overly intoxicated. I can't tell if you had two or three drinks. If you're not obviously intoxicated, we can't tell. If someone is obviously intoxicated, we cut them off."
Newman said police don't like his bar because of its popularity and often station officers outside it.
Huntington Beach police complained to state officials about the bar after records showed that 72 Sharkeez customers were arrested for drinking and driving during a 22-month period. "I believe the ownership and management of the establishment represent, at best, an indifferent attitude toward public safety," the city's police chief wrote.
-- Mona Shadia, Huntington Beach Independent / Times Community News
Photo: Baja Sharkeez in downtown Huntington Beach. Credit: Don Leach / Huntington Beach Independent