Local News

Second bar linked to fatal I-85 crash reaches deal with ABC

Posted January 11
Updated January 13

Chandler Michael Kania appears in an Orange County courtroom on July 23, 2015, to face murder charges in a crash on Interstate 85 that killed three people.
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— State regulators have reached a deal with the second Chapel Hill bar accused of serving a 20-year-old who later was involved in a wrong-way collision on Interstate 85 that killed three people.

The state Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission on Wednesday signed off on the deal that calls for the liquor permits for He's Not Here to be suspended for 30 days, starting Feb. 12, with the final nine days of the penalty suspended if the bar owners pay a $5,000 fine by Feb. 5.

Authorities said Chandler Michael Kania used a fake ID to drink at He's Not Here and La Residence in the early hours of July 19. A short time later, they said, he was driving north in the southbound lanes near the split of I-85 and Interstate 40 in Orange County when his Jeep Wrangler collided with a Suzuki driven by Felecia Harris.

Harris, 49, of Charlotte, her friend Darlene McGee, 46, of Charlotte, and Harris' granddaughter Jahnice Beard, 6, of Brooklyn, N.Y., were killed in the fiery wreck. Harris' daughter, Jahnia King, 9, was seriously injured.

Toxicology tests show that Kania had a blood-alcohol content of 0.17, which is more than twice the level at which a driver is considered impaired under North Carolina law. Because Kania is underage, however, any alcohol in his system would have been illegal.

La Residence paid a $5,000 fine in December, and its liquor permits were suspended for 14 days for violations connected to Kania.

He's Not Here also agreed to pay another $10,000 in fines to avoid two 50-day suspensions of its liquor permits for underage drinking at the bar in March 2014 and April 2015.

Kania is under house arrest in Asheboro awaiting trial on three counts each of second-degree murder and felony death by motor vehicle and one count each of felony serious injury by motor vehicle, driving while impaired, driving left of center, obtaining alcohol by a minor and underage consumption of alcohol as a minor. A grand jury also indicted him on an aggravating factor linked to a fight he had with friends who tried to stop him from driving after drinking that night.


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  • Sara Hauser Jan 12, 2016
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    they certainly didn't force anyone to drink it, Jacob. It is a legal substance.

  • Jacob Smith Jan 11, 2016
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    Well Didn't the State ABC store sell booze to start the party?

  • Aaron Whaley Jan 11, 2016
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    The bars also have the right to refuse service to anyone, especially if they suspect they may be underage or intoxicated.

  • Fanny Chmelar Jan 11, 2016
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    View quoted thread

    Look for the hologram and other security features.
    Most bars have guidebooks to identify out-of-state licenses and what to look for.
    If they look young and nervous, or even suspicious, most bartenders are taught to ask specific questions or even for additional ID.
    It's not 100% fool-proof, but they do have their ways.

  • Russell Hunter Jan 11, 2016
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    View quoted thread


    They need to take the NC ABC's RASP (Responsible Alcohol Seller Program)'s FREE training class.... read more about it at http://abc.nc.gov/Education/RASP.

    Oh, and look at the 4th bullet point... Fake, altered and look-a-like ID's!!

    That's how.

  • Ronald Nunn Jan 11, 2016
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    I would just like to know how the bar is to determine if the ID is a fake or not?

  • Sallie Mae Jan 11, 2016
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    View quoted thread

    Exactly what I was thinking....
    And I sure hope it doesn't happen here...

  • Barrett Powell Jan 11, 2016
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    Is that another Affluence plead I'm hearing.

  • Chase Truman Jan 11, 2016
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    I have taken an ABC class and know what repercussions can come from selling alcohol to underage or overly-intoxicated people. This bar is getting off so easy it's absurd! They need to be shut down if they still have two other cases open for underage serve. And the fines need to be way harsher. Clearly this bar cares much more about the bottom dollar than anyone's welfare.

  • Russell Hunter Jan 11, 2016
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    View quoted thread

    Gee, Jim... perhaps its because the bar served him while underage using a fake ID. Then he went out and murdered 3 innocent people.

    Certainly the bar is not guilty of murder... Chandler Kania is. But the bar is guilty of serving (apparently more than one) underage drinkers.

    And just think, maybe if they had done their jobs and not served him, those 3 precious lives would still be here.