May Day participants arrested

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Opp’s annual May Day celebration ended with more than 10 people booked into the Covington County Jail.
Sgt. Scotty Ballard of the Alabama Beverage Control Board said in total, nine adults and three juveniles were arrested during the entire two-day celebration – all for alcohol related incidents.
“We arrested three people off the streets during the celebration and the remaining nine out of what is called the Little Harlem Club,” Ballard said.
Ballard said ABC agents went to the club to perform an inspection after receiving a report of a gun shot at the Hardin Street lounge.
“Basically what it boils down to is that the lounge was not inspecting IDs as (it was supposed to be),” he said. “When we entered the club, the first person we checked was 17. By law, one has to be 19 or older to be in the club; 21 to drink.”
At that point, Ballard said the club was “shut down.” “We lined everyone up and checked ID,” he said. “Anyone under 21 was issued a PBT (breathalyzer) test. Anyone who is under 21 and found with alcohol in their system or in their possession, goes to jail.”
Ballard said the club’s owners have been fined administratively and points placed against their alcohol license.
“(The ABC Board) was there to assist Opp police department and the citizens of Opp as to ensure everyone’s safety – from the people inside the establishment to those on the street.
“We want people to come to Opp and enjoy themselves during May Day, but at the same time, the safety and well being of everyone involved is our main concern,” he said.
Last year, only one person was jailed because of an alcohol-related arrest.