Milford selectmen consider stricter penalties for liquor license offenders

The Milford Daily News reports that selectmen are considering implementing stricter penalties for package stores and establishments with pouring licenses caught selling to minors, including requiring a suspension for first-time offenders.

Town Counsel Gerry Moody first brought the issue to selectmen in July while preparing for a hearing at the state’s Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission.

The informal policy of the board on a first offense of a liquor license holder being found serving a minor is only to impose a “warning” to the establishment, Moody said.

“The difficulty becomes, as my research has revealed, that such an action will not be considered part of the progressive discipline in response to a first offense,” writes Moody in a memo to selectmen. “The ABCC does not consider such warnings or ‘on probation’ status to be discipline that can be counted in later settings.”

Moody notes recent ABCC decisions, not necessarily on Milford cases, has been to reduce suspensions in cases where establishments have only seen warnings in the past because they are “treating the matters under consideration as first offenses.”

“Your Board probably should consider a more detailed and slightly more formal progressive discipline policy,” Moody wrote.

The proposed penalty proposed by Moody would include a one-day suspension for a first offense and considers imposing suspensions of three, seven and 13 days for second, third and fourth offenses, respectively.

“You will probably want to maintain sufficient flexibility for later offenses, with increased or decreased amount based upon mitigating or extenuating circumstances,” Moody wrote.

The board will consider the penalties proposed by Moody.

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