MOUNTAIN VIEW - On March 27, 2014, agents of the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) posted a notice of suspension at Zen Lounge, located at 251 Castro Street in Mountain View. The bar, will not be allowed to sell alcohol for 15 days. The penalty is the result of an ABC "Target Responsibility for Alcohol-Connected Emergencies" (TRACE) investigation.
The TRACE investigation began after Alma Cabrera-Villar , 20, was found dead, face down in the roadway on Bayshore Road in Redwood City February 22, 2013. The 20-year-old had been driving at around 2:20 a.m. when her car left the road, struck a light pole, a fence and a fire hydrant. She was ejected from the car and killed.
ABC agents determined, prior to the crash, the under-21 driver had been allowed to enter and stay in the Zen Lounge and was allowed to consume multiple alcoholic drinks. As a result, the bar's license has been suspended for 15 days which means no alcohol can be sold or served during that period.
"Fifteen days compared to what could have been that rest of that young lady's life," said Alan Barcelona, president of the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) which represents ABC agents and ABC licensing representatives. "It hardly seems like enough but it demonstrates there is a price to pay for putting young people's lives in danger. Bartenders and business owners have a responsibility to know who they are serving and to serve responsibly. Our ABC agents who conduct TRACE investigations can bring a sense of closure to family members who have lost a loved one as a result of an alcohol-
ABC has conducted hundreds of TRACE investigations since the program’s inception. TRACE investigations include serious car crashes, alcohol overdoses, poisonings and assaults that result from alcohol consumption by minors. The TRACE program is made possible by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) through the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration.