ABCC to Target Massachusetts Bars That Serve Drunk Drivers
If you're a bar owner who sells regularly alcohol to intoxicated patrons, watch out this holiday season.
The state's Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission is making a list -- and checking it twice -- of bars most likely to have served the last drink to patrons who then got pulled over for OUI. The state regulators say they are working with police in communities across Massachusetts to keep a sharp eye on those establishments.
The ABCC's enhanced Sale to Intoxicated Persons (SIP) enforcement will be in effect through New Years's Eve. They are calling it "Operation Safe Holidays."
Massachusetts courts keep records known as "place of last drink reports" that are tied to OUI criminal dockets. However, last-drink reports are not direct evidence of a liquor law violation, because defendants sometimes lie about the matter, according to the Boston Globe. However, some bars are named by defendants often, indicating that there may be a problem.
Licensed alcohol purveyors are prohibited by Massachusetts law from serving intoxicated patrons. If caught, they risk suspension or revocation of their alcohol license. Establishments can also be sued in civil court if a drunk driver who last sat at their bar injures someone or damages property. Most establishments train servers to identify drunk customers and cut them off.
Alcohol is involved in 40 percent of all traffic crash fatalities, and data shows that more than half of all OUI arrests originate at bars.