Board adopts new liquor license regulations, violation guidelines
By Amanda Collins
SUTTON – Last winter when seven alcohol pouring and selling establishments failed a police sting operation and sold to minors, selectmen were left a bit dumbfounded.
With no policy in place outlining violation proceedings, the Board had no guidelines to follow when it came to handling the issue.
On Tuesday, selectmen adopted new liquor license regulations and violation proceedings, a clear cut policy for both the Board and local establishments to follow. This month, when liquor license renewals are sent out, the policy will be attached, said town administrator Jim Smith
“To now have a policy in place that was crafted after these issues occurred – thinking about it not under the duress of the issues at the time – is really helpful,” said chairman Dave Hall.
The town’s new liquor license regulations state the procedures in which the board can handle violations – discussed in open session and at a public hearing – and outline disciplinary guidelines. First offense violators could be penalized with a warning or up to seven days license suspension, second offense a warning or up to 14 days suspension, and third offense, a warning to a possible revocation of the license.
If an establishment incurs a violation and then remains violation-free for a period of 24 months, the next following violation may be considered a first offense, the regulations read.
The guidelines allow the Board to defer a suspension for up to a period of 12 months.
It’s noted in the regulations that the disciplinary guidelines are only a guide, leaving room for the Board’s discretion. Selectmen said they appreciated this clause.
“Everything is fully articulated, but it retains flexibility,” said Selectman Jesse Limanek. “I think it’s a fantastic step.”