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Appleton alderman thinks underage server demerit system too strong

APPLETON, WI (WTAQ) - A city council member in Appleton says the punishment exceeded the crime for a restaurant that served a beer to an underage undercover police sting worker.

Jeff Jirschele is asking for a review of Appleton's liquor license revocation policy, after T.J.'s Japanese Steakhouse sold its business over the matter.

Appleton has a demerit point system for those who violate liquor laws. It's an 80 point violation for serving somebody under 21. A liquor license can be revoked after 200 points, and the Appleton Post-Crescent said T.J.'s exceeded that number.

The restaurant surrendered its license before it could be revoked. Jirschele calls the demerit system an "execution order."  

Fox Valley developer Bob Gregorski says buildings can be left empty while bars and restaurants move to nearby cities like Oshkosh and Green Bay -- neither of which has demerit systems.

Appleton assistant city attorney Stacy Doucette says the process works exactly as it was intended. She said there were only two liquor license revocation hearings since 2012 -- and it shows little need for the system to be overhauled.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)