Minors served alcohol at two restaurants

Apr 18, 2019 by

Published in the April 18, 2019 edition.

By MARK SARDELLA

WAKEFIELD – Two local restaurants failed compliance checks conducted earlier this month by the state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (ABCC) by serving alcohol to minors, according to ABCC documents obtained by the Daily Item.

Tequilas at 979 Main St. in Greenwood and Sonny Noto’s at 49 Water St. both failed the compliance checks on April 1, 2019 by allegedly serving alcohol to a minor working with an ABCC investigator.

Under the ABCC’s Compliance Check Guidelines, an underage person enters the licensed premises under observation by an ABCC investigator and/or a law enforcement officer. The underage person attempts to purchase an alcoholic beverage.

According to the Minimum Purchase Age Compliance Check Field Report filled out by the ABCC investigator, the underage person entered Tequila’s at 6:54 p.m. on April 1, 2019. The minor ordered and was served a Bud Light by the bartender on duty. According to the report, the bartender did not ask the minor for identification before serving the alcoholic beverage.

The circumstances were similar in the Sonny Noto’s violation. The underage person entered the restaurant at 6:23 p.m. on April 1, 2019 and requested a Bud Light. The beer was served by the bartender without asking to see the minor’s ID, the Compliance Check Field Report completed by the ABCC investigator states.

According to the ABCC’s Compliance Check Guidelines, the underage person taking part in the compliance check should reasonably look their age. Efforts to make them appear older should be avoided.

The underage person should not be carrying any identification when taking part in the compliance check. The underage person should not carry any money with them other than that given by the ABCC Investigator or law enforcement officer supervising them.

The underage person shall enter the licensed premises under observation by an ABCC Investigator and/or a law enforcement officer. The underage person shall attempt to purchase an alcoholic beverage. They should attempt to purchase the same thing at each location.

At no time shall the underage person attempt to misrepresent their age or provide any identification. If asked for identification, the underage person should leave the establishment.

If served at any on-premise establishment, the underage personal shall remain on the licensed premises for a period of time instructed by the ABCC Investigator or law enforcement officer. They should then exit the licensed premises leaving the alcoholic beverage. At no time, under any circumstances, shall the underage person consume any alcoholic beverage.

The safety and welfare of all underage participants will be of the utmost importance to the ABCC Investigator and law enforcement personnel. Underage persons shall not be exposed to any unusual, unnecessary or unreasonable risk

ABCC Investigators and law enforcement personnel should only enter the premises to observe on an as needed basis when circumstances warrant. Notice to licensees of alleged violations will be given upon conclusion of the compliance check.

According to the ABCC web site, “It is the overall goal of the Enforcement Division to impact public safety and the quality of life in our communities through effective alcohol law enforcement strategies to reduce alcohol related crimes and traffic crashes. This Division has established effective enforcement programs, often working in cooperation with municipal and state police, to address alcohol related problems in communities throughout the commonwealth.

“Special Investigators of the Investigation and Enforcement Division are appointed by the Commission pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 10 §72. Accordingly, Investigators are authorized and directed, pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 138 §56, to make all needful and appropriate investigations to enforce the Massachusetts Liquor Control Act.”

The ABCC may hold a hearing on any violation by licensed establishment caught selling alcohol to minors. Penalties range from warnings to fines or even license suspension.

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