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SPERANZA LIQUOR LICENSE CASE. (06/11/64)

June 11, 1964

SPERANZA LIQUOR LICENSE CASE.


Appeal, No. 37, April T., 1964, from order of Court of Quarter Sessions of Cambria County, No. 20, Misc. Sessions June, 1963, in re appeal of Louis Speranza and Puline Speranza from suspension of hotel liquor license. Order reversed; reargument refused July 9, 1964.

COUNSEL

Lawrence L. Davis, Special Assistant Attorney General, with him Thomas J. Shannon, Assistant Attorney General, and Walter E. Alessandroni, Attorney General, for Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, appellant.

Robert Davis Gleason, with him Gleason & Krumenacker, for appellees.

Before Ervin, Wright, Woodside, Watkins, Montgomery, and Flood, JJ. (rhodes, P.j., absent).

Author: Montgomery

[ 203 Pa. Super. Page 522]

OPINION BY MONTGOMERY, J.

The facts in this case are not in dispute. The appellees, Louis and Pauline Speranza, husband and wife, are the holders of a hotel liquor license for premises known as Loreben hotel, R.D. 2, Ebensburg, Pennsylvania. On the first floor of the hotel there is a barroom and an adjoining dining room separated by a solid wall through which is an open doorway. The licensees are privileged to serve alcoholic beverages in both rooms. Although they are not charged with having

[ 203 Pa. Super. Page 523]

    served alcoholic beverages to unaccompanied minors, they admit serving them food in the dining room area. The board suspended the license of the appellees for twenty days because "The licensees, their servants, agents, or employees permitted minors to frequent the licensed premises on September 22, 1962."

Article IV, § 493, of the Pennsylvania Liquor Code, Act of April 12, 1951, P.L. 90, 47 P.S. § 4-493, makes it unlawful: "(14) For any hotel, restaurant or club liquor licensee, or any retail dispenser, his servants, agents or employes, to permit persons of ill requite, known criminals, prostitutes or minors to frequent his licensed premises or any premises operated in connection therewith, except minors accompanied by parents, guardians, or under proper supervision."

The lower court was satisfied that there had been no disorderliness present on the occasion for which the suspension was imposed by the board. Although there were more than seven minors in the dining room at that time, none of them had ordered or had been served any alcoholic beverages. The lower court also was satisfied that the activities of the dining room were supervised adequately by Mrs. Speranza and a waitress.

Therefore, the issue before us is a simple one. May a licensee supply the code requirement of proper supervision of minors who frequent his premises? The answer is obviously no. Otherwise, the provision requiring supervision would be meaningless since any licensee who operated a well-supervised establishment could permit minors to frequent it as long as they were not served intoxicating beverages. We are required to give meaning to the provision referred to; and we conclude that the legislature intended the words, "accompanied by parents, guardians, or under proper supervision", to ...


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