State liquor agents arrested three Tallahassee bartenders Monday sending a strong message for anyone who serves alcohol to minors.
They're accused of serving alcohol to two TCC students, 20-year-old twins, who ultimately died in a crash.
On a Friday night last November, Eddie and Suzie Ward went out for an early birthday celebration. They would have turned 21 on Sunday. But they died on their way home, and now three bartenders are under arrest.
Their parents say Eddie and Suzie were inseparable. They were twins born Nov. 24, 1981. They died in this crash the day before they would have turned 21. Eddie Ward was driving drunk.
“There was excessive speed involved. Residential area, speed approximately 70 mph. The driver unable to negotiate the curve.”
Now, two and a half months after the wreck, three bartenders face criminal charges. Twenty-three-year-old Christopher Allen Durgin, 21-year-old Rachel Ann Pippi, and 21-year-old Jesse William Stickle have all been charged with a second-degree misdemeanor, serving alcoholic beverages to minors.
“What we want to encourage people to do is don't give alcohol to people under 21. If you do sell alcohol, make sure you ID these people. If there's a doubt, don't sell to them.”
Pippi and Durgin work at TGI Friday's. Stickle was a bartender at Applebee’s in Village Square. There may be charges both restaurants' liquor licenses for serving two young people just hours away from being legal.
“They were still underage. That's just a fact. There has to be a line and that's where it is.”
Again, those three bartenders are charged with a second-degree misdemeanor. If convicted, they'll face to a $500 fine and 60 days in jail.
We haven't gotten a response from the restaurants so far, but someone else who worked with the two at TGI Friday’s said she had no idea someone could face criminal charges for serving a minor.