Posted: Feb 9, 2012 10:49 PM by Ashley Rodrigue
BATON ROUGE- State alcohol investigators are shutting down a probe into bars a man visited before getting involved in a deadly car accident last month.
The ATC was looking into whether the businesses served Joey Branch too much before he got behind the wheel.
Branch was arrested for vehicular homicide and drunk driving after a crash on Perkins Road that killed one bicyclist and put another in the hospital.
Since then, ATC detectives have poured through surveillance video showing Branch at the Bulldog Bar on January 21. Despite the bar tab News 2 obtained from that night, which showed Branch bought nine drinks, investigators say throughout the night, including when he left, Branch showed no questionable behavior. Police say after the crash, Branch was found to have a blood alcohol limit nearly four times what's allowed. Without any evidence to warn workers Branch may have had too much, ATC says the business and bartenders cannot be faulted or fined.
ATC Commissioner Troy Hebert said, "The vast majority of establishments like bars and restaurants that serve alcohol, try very hard to do it responsibly, it's real easy because nothing good can come from serving alcohol irresponsibly. I mean best case scenario, ATC's gonna come in and fine you or shut you down or the worst case scenario is going to be like the tragedy like with this bicyclist."
Since the accident, Branch has bonded out of jail and checked into rehab as a court required.