Bar shut down for a month for role in drunk driving crash that killed woman
A Burlington County bar has been shut down for a month after the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control says that the bar played a role in a drunk driving crash that claimed the life of a young woman.
Ariana Williams died in the 2016 crash after she went out drinking at Brickwall Tavern Burlington with Justin Rodriguez, an off-duty Burlington police officer. Rodriguez was driving.
“The day it happened, I was in the front room and she left and she said, ‘I love you,’ and that was the last time I heard her voice. It just hurts,” says father Ronald Williams.
The Florence Township family says that they will never stop grieving their loved one.
“We’re never going to be over her,” says mother Chavella Williams.
This week, the ABC issued Brickwall Tavern Burlington penalties. The department says that the establishment overserved alcohol to Rodriguez, contributing to the crash.
“I don’t know the circumstances. I was not there that night. I can only go off hearsay,” says Tatiana Williams, Ariana’s twin sister. “But I know what I do and I know how I treat my customers and I want everybody to be safe.”
Brickwall Tavern Burlington is now serving a 30-day suspension, shutting down until the beginning of March. The bar is also facing a $300,000 fine and must give up its liquor license within two years.
"We don't think that anything is ever going to be enough as a family. I can't even tell you the tremendous pain that you feel and the suffering and the loss. It's not enough. It's never gonna bring her back,” says Chavella.
The family says they didn't know that these penalties were coming. Since the news broke, they've received backlash on social media about the closure.
“You really have to realize what you’re saying about people’s family members. It’s really unfair to be treated a certain way because an establishment has done something,” Chavella says.
Calls made to Brickwall Tavern Burlington for comment were not returned.
The Alloway Village Inn in Salem County is facing similar repercussions from the ABC stemming from two deadly DWI crashes. That bar will begin serving its suspension in September.