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I-Team: Two bars cited after customers later died in drunk driving accidents

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CLEVELAND  - Two area bars have been cited by the Ohio Investigative Unit for over serving customers later killed in drunk driving crashes.

Agents with the Ohio Investigative Unit issued citations Wednesday to two area bars, one in Olmsted Falls and the other in Avon, that agents say served alcohol to an intoxicated person.

Greg Croft, Ohio Investigative Unit Agent in Charge, told the I-Team that in both cases, patrons died shortly after leaving the bars.

“Any time there is an administrative citation against a bar, it is forwarded to the Ohio Liquor Control Commission,” Croft said.  “There will be a hearing and they can be fined, suspended, or even face a revocation.”

Croft said the cases are also being sent to the county prosecutor’s office to determine if any criminal charges should be filed.

“We have evidence that shows that there was over serving taking place at these locations,” Croft said.

Investigators say 22-year-old Brandyn Pino died September 27 in a one-car crash on State Route 252 in Columbia Township.

Officials said Pino was ordered to leave Aces Depot in Olmsted Falls, and crashed his car shortly after, about a mile away.

“They had no problem taking my son’s money, but then they throw him out and let him drive,” said Cindy Pino, Brandyn’s mother.  “Something needs to be done.  Something has to be changed.”

She said she and her husband, Ernesto, are devastated by their son’s death.

No one at Aces Depot wanted to talk about the case.

“Liquor establishments are supposed to serve responsibly,” Croft said.  “In the state of Ohio, the laws are pretty specific; you can’t serve past the point of intoxication.”

The second location served a citation was Dusty’s Tavern in Avon.

Investigators said in January, 51-year-old Joel Schwartz crashed about two miles away from the bar, on Stoney Ridge Road.

The bar manager did not want to talk to us on camera, but said they have operated for several years and this is the first time they have had a violation.

“It’s all about contributing to a safer Ohio and  in this case the victims were left out there to fend for themselves," Croft said.