COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The vast majority of bars and restaurants appear to be complying with the state’s emergency rule which changed last call to 10 p.m.
The rule, approved by the Ohio Liquor Control Commission and later signed by Gov. Mike DeWine, went into effect Friday.
According to the Ohio Investigative Unit, agents conducted 257 compliance checks across the state and issued four citations, all to businesses in the Cleveland area.
OIU Enforcement Commander Eric Wolf said the citations were issued at businesses where drinks were being served and consumed past the deadline for both.
Wolf noted, however, that most business owners and employees knew the rules and followed them.
“Generally speaking, most locations were in compliance,” he said. “Businesses were doing everything they can to provide a safe environment for their patrons to return, as well as trying to maintain compliance with all of the rules and laws out there, so the business themselves can remain open.”
In Columbus, several bar and restaurant owners said they were not surprised to see so much compliance.
“Even before this rule, I think most people were doing a really good job and it’s probably the best scenario that the few and far between places that are not following the rules, hopefully they get taken care of,” said Scott Talmage, owner of Endeavor Brewing and Spirits.
Wolf said that while most businesses appear to be complying with the rule, agents will continue to enforce it when necessary.
“We have our enforcement agents out across the state, in our six districts statewide and they will be out during their routine shifts, and this is just something else that we add to our list of violations or compliance issues that we look for,” he explained.