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Three local businesses busted for serving alcohol to minors

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Three local establishments were cited last week for selling alcohol to someone underage. Local law enforcement officials, working with town alcohol licensing boards regularly send out underage employees to test the system of bars, liquor stores and restaurants to insure that they are complying with standards. The undercover workers, usually between 18 and 20 years of age, request to purchase an alcohol beverage. If they are not asked for an ID, the authorities cite the establishment.

Merchants Liquor Mart, Hong Kong Cafe and Brutole Restaurant in Danvers were put on notice that if this occurs again anytime within the next year, their liquor licenses will be suspended for three days. The warnings were given, rather than immediate suspensions as each of the establishments have been very cooperative with local officials and have significant histories of compliance with the regulations.

Restaurants and bars are incentivized to provide Training for Intervention Procedures (TIPS) training for all employees.
TIPS is described as: “a skills-based, 100% online responsible alcohol training and certification program that is designed to prevent intoxication, underage drinking, and drunk driving by enhancing the fundamental "people skills" of servers, sellers and consumers of alcohol”

“TIPS Alcoholic beverage server training is now mandatory in many states. Servers of alcohol must complete the training within 30 days of commencing employment. Responsible alcohol training is not mandated by the state of Massachusetts. However, many local cities and municipalities have made responsible beverage server training mandatory. In addition, many Massachusetts Insurance companies have made certification mandatory for the bars to purchase liquor liability insurance.”

Any responsible business owner serving or selling alcohol would be foolish not to engage all of his or her employees in TIPS. Not only would it foster safety in the community, it also insures a degree of protection for the business. A patron leaving an establishment where he or she was over-served could cause major damage in the community resulting in both governmental and civil suits against the business owner.

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