Bar defends itself

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By David Giuliani

Leger's Liquors disputes allegations that repeat DWI offenders were at the local bar beforehand.

Last week, Starkie Montaño, 60, of Las Vegas was charged with his 12th DWI on Collins Drive, state police said.

According to a criminal complaint, Montaño told officers that he had had three beers at Leger’s bar, 2404 Seventh St., before the state police stopped him on Collins, which is near Leger’s and Montaño’s home.

Evelyn Ortega, Leger’s co-owner, said it wasn’t true that Montaño had been at her bar.

“He never set foot in the bar. He’s not allowed to drink here. We won’t serve him,” said Ortega, who has owned the bar for 22 years.

In February, Leonard R. Montoya, 44, of Las Vegas was charged for his seventh DWI. At the time, he reportedly told officers he had gone to Leger’s beforehand.

Ortega said she knew that Montoya wasn’t at her establishment that night because he’s loud, which makes him noticeable. “You have to tell him to lower his voice. He doesn’t frequent the bar,” she said.

Ortega said DWI offenders may lie that they have gone to her bar because they’re angry she had refused to serve them drinks.

“It makes our bar look like we’re not doing our job. Believe me, we’re doing our job,” she said, adding that reports to the contrary are unfair.

Ortega said the police don’t verify the information when offenders say they were at a certain bar.

She said she urges people not to drink and drive, referring them to Safe Ride, a county service that provides rides home to bar customers.

Leger’s includes a liquor store in the front and a bar in the back.