Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Bar Fined for Serving Visibly Intoxicated Driver
The Portsmouth Gas Light was fined $500 by the New Hampshire Liquor Commission for serving the "obviously drunk" driver of the vehicle that crashed, leading to the death of Drew Ceppetelli.
A crash in the early hours of Thanksgiving in 2022 at the Portsmouth Traffic Circle claimed the life of Drew Ceppetelli, 21, of Barrington. Driver Tyler Troy's blood alcohol level was .224, according to State Police at a commission hearing on November 15.
According to an order from the commission, the purpose of the commission's investigation was only to determine if Troy was served while intoxicated, and does not determine any criminal or civil liability in the case.
The commission investigator said one customer who is a friend of Troy's and interacted with him several times during the evening told the commission during a hearing she saw a bartender serve Troy after he was "kind of slumped over against the bar", and thought he "looked like he was done. Time for him to go home."
A bartender testified that type of behavior would be a sign of intoxication to her.
Drinking despite being designated driver
Despite being the designated driver for the evening, Macan, a passenger in Troy's Porsche, said he drank two or three White Claws on the way to Portsmouth.
A review of Troy's credit card receipts determined he used his card on three occasions to buy eight alcoholic beverages earlier in the evening at the Thirsty Moose Taphouse, and later at the Gas Light both located in Portsmouth .
He was served a 2 oz Jack Daniels at the Thirsty Moose and purchased three more beverages at the Gas Light. His blood alcohol content test at Portsmouth Regional Hospital came back with a .224, according to the investigation.'
A friend told investigators that she advised Troy not to drive, but he refused.
The report noted that in its 34 years, the Gas Light has had no prior violations of its liquor license. The staff are well-trained, and an experienced staff of 10 was working that night.
The fine also includes a three-day liquor license suspension. However, because the restaurant's license was suspended for four days in December 2022, it was credited as time served.