If Walpole adopts its own alcohol regulations, it could be the first town in the state to do so, said D.J. Wilson, director of tobacco control at the Massachusetts Municipal Association, a nonprofit that provides advocacy to communities. Having clear penalties could also give the town an advantage in the state appeals process.
“Cities and towns will be on stronger footing if they can say to the ABCC, ‘No, we passed this bylaw and we gave it to [license holders],’ ” Wilson said. “Some of this may get driven by Walpole, if they decide to do this.
“For tobacco, we can hand a retailer one document and that lists for them all the things they can do,” he said. “That doesn’t exist in most cities and towns for liquor. This is centralizing the process and holding retailers’ feet to the fire to this age-restricted product.”