Articles Posted in Liability

State Treasurer Steven Grossman and the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (ABCC), in conjunction with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) national Impaired Driving Crackdown, will focus enforcement efforts at bars throughout the commonwealth during the 2012 holiday season.

The operation started the night before Thanksgiving, and will continue through New Year’s Eve.

“This type of enforcement effort can save lives and prevent tragedies before they happen,” said Grossman. “Operation Safe Holidays takes immediate and effective steps that result in the direct prevention of drunk driving and serving of intoxicated individuals during the busy holiday season.

Eight restaurant all-alcohol licenses have been added to Braintree’s arsenal for the purpose of boosting small business development.

Earlier this month, Gov. Deval Patrick signed a home rule petition submitted by Mayor Joseph Sullivan to fight the high demand and corresponding high price of liquor licenses in Braintree.

“These new licenses will allow us to place smaller restaurant venues throughout Town, particularly in our three Square areas,” Sullivan said in a statement. “We envisioned the Landing improvements to be a stimulus for economic activity and these licenses will help us in that effort.”

The Boston Globe has an interesting article on security at the Comcast Center in Mansfield and the use of alcohol and drugs at concerts at the venue. Two men died at a show there in July. The article suggests that the issues at Comcast reflect a broader cultural problem and that the arena’s security staff has worked well with the local police force to try to mitigate the effects of reckless behavior.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno is proposing a 1 a.m. closing time for all bars and clubs in the city, less than a month after a 1 a.m. curfew on entertainment in such establishments went into effect, as reported by the Springfield Republican.

Sarno is asking the city License Commission to consider a new 1 a.m. closing hour for local bars and clubs, believing the earlier hour would enhance public safety.

The idea drew immediate criticism from local lawyer Thomas J. Rooke, saying it would be the “final nail in the coffin” of local businesses.

The nightclub at the center of a brawl in Lowell two months ago that led to 14 arrests and resulted in injuries to three police officers has lost its liquor license for three months, the Lowell Sun reported.

The city License Commission last week also rolled back the closing time at Club 44 inside Fortunato’s Restaurant from 2 a.m. to 11 p.m. for an indefinite period and barred the club from having a disc jockey.

Police say chairs, tables and beer bottles were thrown during the brawl just before closing time on Feb. 10. Thirty officers, including every Lowell officer on duty as well as officers from Dracut, Tyngsborough, UMass-Lowell and state police, responded.

The Boston Herald reports that Barstool Sports blogger Dave Portnoy is pulling the plug on his popular and much-protested “Blackout” raves at Boston’s House of Blues, claiming club security and state liquor agents ruined a recent party, and ended up turning away about three-fourths of his paid customers.

“It just doesn’t seem like Boston is friendly to nightlife of our sort, at least,” Portnoy told the Herald. “It goes against everything our brand is trying to do, if we’re doing events where we know kids are spending money and getting turned away.”

Portnoy said Wednesday night’s sold-out party, geared toward Boston College students, turned sour when security barred drinking-age guests who showed up with alcohol on their breath or with out-of-state IDs. Out of 2,000 tickets sold, he said, only about 500 people got inside.

The North Adams’ General Governance Committee will recommend the city do without a “bring your own bottle” ordinance, at least for now, reports iberkshires.com

The topic has been under debate since last spring, when the owners of Big Shirl’s informed the city they would allow it for evening hours and wanted to know if there were any requirements. The state has no regulations on diners bringing their own bottle of alcohol to restaurants that do not have liquor licenses.

The city’s main concern has been over the issue of liability related to someone imbibing alcohol at a restaurant that allows BYOB.

A proposal to allow bars and restaurants in Massachusetts to sell discounted drinks is on hold, according to its two backers.

Senators James Timilty (D-Walpole) and Robert Hedlund (R-Weymouth), who sponsored the so-called “Happy Hour” amendment, told the State House News Service they are recommending a conference committee spend the next year evaluating current alcohol regulations.

The amendment, passed in October, was attached to the bill that would legalize casinos in Massachusetts.

Interesting piece on patch.com about efforts afoot in the town of Braintree to reign in the sale of liquor licenses on the open or black market, and instead making it easier (and much cheaper) for prospective licensees to simply obtain the license directly from the town. Certainly favors the mom-and-pop type shops, who cannot afford to pay six figures for a license. Of course, if there were no quota system at all (like in New York), this would not be an issue.