New Liquor License Rules Approved by Yarmouth Selectmen

CCB Media Photo Yarmouth Selectman Erik Tolley

CCB Media Photo
Yarmouth Selectman Erik Tolley

YARMOUTH – The Board of Selectmen in Yarmouth recently approved new regulations for liquor license holders.

Licensees will now have to attend an upcoming police seminar and then a follow up every two years.

The new guidelines resulted from multiple meetings between Yarmouth police and representatives from local liquor establishments.

“We learned a lot from them. They listened to us,” said Officer Phil Magnuson before the board of selectmen. “There were areas where we had disagreement. We resolved those by compromise. As a result of their input we produced, I think, a much better product.”

Magnuson said there have been about 21 substantive changes.

“By substantive I mean changes to what the regulation says – what it means,” Magnuson said.

Servers will join managers and bartenders as employees who must be trained in the TIPS program which instructs employees how to tell when a customer has been served too much.

Another major change to the regulations is allowing establishments to allow an intoxicated individual on the premises.

“We improved that by saying they could allow a person on the premise for the purpose of waiting for the police or for other provisions to be made,” Magnuson said. “And they could be served a nonalcoholic beverage, a cup of coffee while they wait, to get the person off the street while they decide how they are going to handle it.”

Magnuson said a compromise was reached that did not require the police to be called every time.

“If the person is cooperative and if adequate arrangements can be made to protect that person’s safety and the public’s safety then the establishment can go ahead,” he said. “Call them a cab. Let a friend take them home. Whatever common sense arrangement they can make.”

If the drunk individual is not cooperative and provisions can’t be made then license holders would have to notify police.

The new regulations also put a limit on pitcher size. Pitchers of beer would be limited to just 60 ounces.

“We’re concerned with the beer towers and things like that that have become popular in the city which might hold a great deal of alcohol – a great deal of beer,” Magnuson said.

Employees in bars and package stores will also be prohibited from drinking alcohol while working.

“These people have to perform professional functions. They have to be able to access the sobriety of their customers,” Magnuson said. “And how can they do it if they are drinking?”

The new regulations take effect on May 20. The board voted 3-1 to approve the regulations.

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