FIRST ON 3: Local bar reprimanded after bartender drank, hit firefighter
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -
UPDATE: The Chattanooga Beer Board voted 4-2 Thursday to suspend Fanatics' Sports Bar and Grill's license for three days.
The suspension takes effect March 19, two days after the busy St. Patrick's Day. The bar was also issued a letter of reprimand.
The bar was cited before the board after its employee Andrea Payne admitted to taking two shots of Fireball at work before getting in the car and hitting a Chattanooga firefighter as he was directing traffic on East Brainerd Road.
Lt. Larry O'Rear continues to recover from his injuries at home, the department said Thursday.
Payne's BCA (Blood Alcohol Content) was measured at 0.12.
In Tennessee, a BAC of 0.08 is considered to be driving under the influence.
Payne was fired from her job.
This is Fanatics' first violation with the city and they have an option to appeal. The bar and its attorney chose not to comment on this story.
PREVIOUS STORY: Police say the woman involved in a hit-and-run with a Chattanooga firefighter had been drinking that night at the bar where she worked.
Channel 3 learned Thursday morning that Andrea Payne was a bartender at Fanatics Sports Bar & Grill on East Brainerd Road.
Police say Payne had just gotten off work, was over the legal limit, and traveled 0.7 miles east down East Brainerd Road where the collision occurred.
The owner of Fanatics told Channel 3 Thursday he "disputes" allegations that his bartender was drinking on the job.
Still, the beer board could possibly fine Fanatics or revoke or suspend its license to serve.
Attorney Matthew Brownfield represented the bar's owners in front of the beer board Thursday morning. He told the board he was just hired last night and requested more time to meet with his clients before an official hearing.
"This a unique situation with the driver of the vehicle who injured the firefighter having been indicted, I'd like to have time to confer with my clients, to speak with people who worked with them, who may have witnessed what Andrea Payne was doing that day," Brownfield said.
"We would like to have more time to prepare, to obtain witnesses from the sports bar if necessary and we'd like to talk to Ms. Payne but she's represented by counsel so I don't know if that's going to be possible at all."
The grand jury indicted Payne last week on charges of DUI, vehicular assault and leaving the scene of an accident.
Police say she hit CFD Lieutenant Larry O'Rear as he was working a crash February 1 on East Brainerd Road.
The driver did not stop and O'Rear suffered serious injuries.
Fanatics will be back before the beer board March 5 for an official hearing.