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Needham restaurants pay the price for underage liquor sales

Posted by Ralph Ranalli July 2, 2007 11:47 AM

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NEEDHAM

Selectmen have hit two local restaurants with liquor license suspensions after they were caught serving alcohol to teenagers.

Mandarine Cuisine off Highland Avenue and The Rice Barn off Great Plain Avenue will not be allowed to serve up booze for two days in July, according to Gerald A. Wasserman, chairman of the Board of Selectmen.

Teenage decoys who attend school outside Needham were sent in May to every restaurant in town with a liquor license. Local police and Mothers Against Drunk Driving collaborated to make the undercover operation happen. When the teenagers ordered beer and wine, bartenders at the Mandarine Cuisine and The Rice Barn served them without asking for identification, according to Wasserman.

Town officials have clamped down on underage drinking and drug use in a number of ways recently.

Last month, the high school revised its drug abuse policy for next year to include prescription and over-the-counter medications. Superintendent Daniel E. Gutekanst and Police Chief Thomas J. Leary also recently signed a “Memorandum of Understanding,” in which both departments will keep each other informed and coordinate in punishing students caught participating in illegal activities.

-– Lauren K. Meade

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