ABCC Charges North Andover Bar for Failure to Comply with Covid Safety Standards, Also Finds 24 Minors in Possession of False ID
Bar to Face ABCC Hearing
On Thursday November 12th at approximately 9:00 PM, Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (ABCC) Investigators charged Casa Blanca in North Andover with failure to comply with COVID Safety Standards, which require that tables must be positioned so to maintain at least a 6-foot distance from all other tables and high foot traffic areas. The investigators also found 24 minors in possession of false identification and or alcohol. Most of the young people were approximately 19 years of age.
Recent reports show that an increase of COVID cases in Massachusetts are related to younger people who are under 30. This raises concerns that asymptomatic young people are helping to spread the virus to more vulnerable individuals. The enforcement conducted by the ABCC ensures that restaurants and other on-premise pouring establishments maintain compliance with the Governor's Sector Specific Safety Standards in order to prevent dangerous behaviors known to increase the spread of COVID-19.
The enforcement efforts strive to support voluntary compliance through licensee education and high visibility, as well as the issuance of suspensions or warnings for violations of the standards.
"This health crisis is far from over and taking care of all Massachusetts residents is of the utmost importance," said State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, who oversees the ABCC, "By continuing to educate, monitor, and enforce these safety standards we will help save lives."
Statistics show that three teens die from drinking and driving every day, and approximately six teens die every day of non-driving alcohol-related causes, such as homicide, suicide, and drowning. Annually, 97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 report experiencing alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape. Alcohol intoxication has also been reported to be involved in 47% of homicides and 23% of suicides involving people under 21. In Massachusetts alone, the overall cost of alcohol abuse by youth is estimated at $1.4 billion.
"Bars and restaurants have an obligation to responsibly serve only those patrons that are of age," added Goldberg, "We will continue to step up our monitoring and enforcement actions because we know that this can save lives and prevent tragedies before they happen."
In 2019 the ABCC Enforcement Division conducted operations in approximately 200 municipalities throughout the commonwealth, filing approximately 190 reports detailing approximately 320 violations of the Liquor Control Act that included the sale of alcohol to underage or intoxicated individuals, illegal gambling, illegal alcoholic beverages, unlawful ownership and unlawful trade practices. In addition, seasonal enforcement programs found approximately 1200 minors in possession or transporting alcoholic beverages; 125 adults procuring alcohol for minors; 230 individuals in possession of false identification; with 350 cases of beer and 230 bottles of alcohol confiscated by Investigators, preventing delivery to approximately 3600 underage individuals.
The bar will be summoned for a hearing before the Commission; if found to have violated the law, the bar's liquor license could be subject to suspension, modification or revocation.