Braintree Dave & Buster’s liquor license suspended after serving 27 drinks in 90 minutes
May 1, 2022
Dave & Buster’s at South Shore Plaza has been given a two-day liquor license suspension after the town’s license board found the establishment guilty of serving intoxicated patrons.
Two customers were taken into protective custody in the incident. Police said their blood alcohol content was still above the legal presumption for intoxication hours later, according to testimony at Tuesday’s board hearing.
Braintree police officer Brendan McLaughlin, the board’s licensing agent, was working a paid detail at the establishment March 5 when a customer called his attention to a patron at the bar who appeared to be drunk. McLaughlin investigated and saw the customer nearly fall over. A second member of the group tried to intervene, and also showed signs of intoxication.
A check of the group’s bar tab showed they had been served 27 drinks in a 90-minute period, including 22-ounce beers and shots of hard liquor. The group had also been drinking at a home before they went to Dave & Buster’s, he said. The two men were taken into protective custody.
McLaughlin said one of the men turned down a shot of liquor and the bartender set it aside and served it to him later, and one of the men did not have identification on him.
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One of the men had a reading on a portable breath test of .13 blood alcohol content more than five hours after he was taken into custody, and the other tested at .19 after over eight hours in custody, police said. The legal presumption of intoxication is .08.
The size of the group is in dispute, with police saying it was a group of four and the restaurant saying it could have been as many as seven people.
Albert DeNapoli, a lawyer representing Dave & Buster’s, did not deny the findings. He said they were the actions of a “rogue bartender” who was fired after the incident.
“We failed to follow policies that were in place,” DeNapoli said.
Police Chief Mark Dubois, a member of the license board, said blame for the incident cannot be placed on a single individual, since managers on duty did not prevent it.
“It’s not just one person who dropped the ball,” the chief said, promising closer scrutiny of the establishment in the future.
Building inspector Russell Forsberg made the motion for the two-day suspension. He sought a harsher penalty than the board usually gives to a first-time offender because the actions of the establishment’s staff were “so egregious.”
The suspension will be in effect May 28 and 29, unless it’s appealed to the state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission.