County won’t penalize Cactus Canyon club for its liquor violations

Despite objections of the county sheriff, the Mesa County Commission unanimously chose not to impose any penalties on the Cactus Canyon nightclub for alleged violations of state liquor laws.

The club, 3210 Interstate 70 Business Loop, was cited by state liquor enforcement agents for alleged incidents that occurred in February, March and April. Those involved the possible selling of alcohol to people under 21 years old and alleged lurid acts by male dancers and female patrons.

The Colorado Department of Revenue Liquor Enforcement Division ordered the club closed for 14 days and ruled it could close the club for an additional 15 days if there were another violation.

Club management paid the state a fine of $4,880 so the club was closed for only seven days instead of the full 14, according to an agreement between the state and Cactus Canyon.

Because Mesa County issues the liquor license, the Mesa County Commission held a show-cause hearing Monday to determine if there was any cause to suspend Cactus Canyon’s license or impose any other sanction.

The commission could have imposed penalties that mirror those already handed down by the state: Close Cactus Canyon for 14 days or allow management to pay a fine of up to $4,880 and close for just seven days.

Eventually, the commission ordered the bar to reimburse the county for legal fees of up to $1,600.

“It is a gross miscarriage,” said Rusty Boyd, who owns Whiskey River nightclub, 490 28 1/4 Road.

Before taking a vote, Commissioner Craig Meis said he was not in favor of imposing further penalties on the nightclub’s management because the state already had.

“Now we’re just kicking them when they are down,” Meis said.

Mesa County Sheriff Stan Hilkey objected to Meis’ reasoning.

Hilkey said the situation is not double jeopardy and equated it with a person arrested for drunken driving.

Not only is that person subject to court-imposed costs, possible jail time and fines, but the convicted drunken driver is also subject to suspension of driver’s license privileges by another governing body, the Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles.

The county maintained the right to impose the penalties if Cactus Canyon had any further violations for one year.


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