Fond du Lac gas station loses liquor license after teens died in crash

The city's licensing board voted unanimously. A clerk is criminally charged with selling alcohol to minors before the crash that killed two teens.
Published: May. 22, 2023 at 3:03 PM CDT|Updated: May. 22, 2023 at 5:11 PM CDT
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FOND DU LAC, Wis. (WBAY) - A Fond du Lac Shell gas station’s liquor license is suspended after an investigation connected the Express Mart to the deaths of two teenagers back in January.

As we first alerted you, former clerk Sanju Paudel faces two counts of providing alcohol to a minor resulting in death. According to a criminal complaint, surveillance video from a Shell Station on Fond du Lac Avenue shows Paudel appearing not to card a teenager buying alcohol. Hours later, Tommy Koenigs and Nevins Zoch died in a car crash.

The Fond du Lac Alcohol Licensing Committee voted unanimously to suspend the Shell’s license Monday afternoon. The Shell station, also called the Fond du Lac Express Mart, is owned by NP Petroleum. The company agreed to settle with the city to suspend its liquor license for 90 days.

The Fond du Lac city attorney Deb Hoffmann said this is the first time she’s seen a vendor lose their liquor license over something as serious as a death.

“It’s very serious. Very serious results when you over serve minors. That’s why we don’t sell alcohol to minors. They’re not really ready for that,” said Hoffmann.

The station racked up more than 200 demerit points for selling to minors, leading to serious injury or death. Those points work against them and lead to consequences with the city.

“If you have too many demerits you can end up having your license suspended or revoked so we especially like to look at all that before the end of the year–before the end of this liquor license year so May is a key time,” Hoffmann explained.

Hoffmann said her office often interacts with gas stations, bars and restaurants to help them get on the right side of issues that pop up.

“Do all the correct training. They have all kinds of little reference things you can put right next to the cash register that shows you exactly what you need to look for to make sure it’s correct. So do it. Just do it,” Hoffman said. “The city of Fond du Lac appreciates all these businesses. We appreciate the people coming in frequently to the businesses. We just want everyone to drink responsibly. Be a responsible business owner. Be a responsible server.”

If the Shell gets any more demerit points against it during the suspension, the liquor license would be automatically revoked.

A Fond du Lac Shell gas station’s liquor license is up for discussion after an investigation connected the Express Mart to the deaths of two teenagers.