Springfield Police to begin compliance checks with bars beginning January 1st

Hampden County

The Springfield Police Department is cracking down on underage drinking.  

Police will start compliance checks on January 1st. Any restaurant, liquor store or bar caught selling alcohol to minors, could face serious consequences.

“This is just our heads up to businesses that we’ll be out there,” said Springfield Police Spokesman Ryan Walsh.

Starting in the New Year, the Springfield Police Department will be keeping a close eye on any business that serves alcohol. In an effort to stop underage drinking, the department’s strategic impact will be sending police cadets into establishments to order alcohol, without showing an id.

“It’s not worth the risk, we don’t want people that are underage drinking in the establishments. The business owners could potentially lose their liquor licenses. We don’t want people under 21 getting served somewhere and get behind the wheel and cause an accident,” said Walsh.

Walsh told 22News that businesses were written up back in November. Those businesses will be going in front of the states liquor commission. Depending on the severity of the violation, consequences could range from re-training their staff to losing their liquor licenses.

Theodore’s in downtown Springfield told 22News, all of their employees undergo a training class to help prevent and recognize underage drinking.

“With that program it lets them understand all the steps of proper service. Also with our bar tending staff, wait staff and door staff as well for the later parts of the evening when it turns into a over 21 situation,” said Keith Makarowski, co-owner and manager of Theodore’s.

Walsh said the compliance checks will happen randomly throughout the year.

The alcohol compliance checks are a requirement by the state.

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