December 4 2019

Burlington Police to Conduct Alcohol Checks to Ensure Compliance with Drinking Age Laws

By: Rich Hosford

The Burlington Police Department is warning restaurants and liquor stores in town to be vigilant and make sure they are checking IDs. 


Chief Michael Kent said in a release that he would like to notify business owners that police will be conducting alcohol compliance checks at all local, licensed establishments in the coming weeks and months.


Alcohol compliance checks are conducted throughout the calendar year. 


“The purpose of these compliance operations is to educate the licensees about the importance of complying with local and state laws and to remain vigilant in ensuring that no alcoholic beverages are sold to underage persons,” the release says. 


Police say it is vital to ensure minors are not given access to alcohol. 


“Alcohol consumption by minors has a profound effect on the community and is related to motor vehicle crashes, crime, poor performance in school, and a number of other behaviors that could have an adverse impact on the quality of life in town,” they write. 


Businesses that are caught violating alcohol sale laws in the compliance check are subject to a loss of their ability to sell. The penalties were made harsher in 2015 after a string of failures by multiple locations. Under Board of Selectmen policy, the penalty for a first time violation is a suspension of its license for one day. The second time it will be subject to a 5-day suspension. Increasing penalties include 10 days for a third offense and 15 days for a fourth offense. 


There is some reprieve, however. If a company fails a second check it can opt to lieu hire a contractor that specializes in training on alcohol compliance to come in and give the staff training in lieu of the suspension. This training would include period compliance checks by the contractor for a year. The cost of the training is about $2,000. 


Anyone with questions about the compliance checks can contact Detective Sergeant Matthew Leary at the Burlington police station at 781-272-1212.


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