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East Dedham Liquors updates selectmen on new ID procedures

Posted by Dave Eisenstadter  July 22, 2013 05:31 PM

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East Dedham Liquors, a Bussey Street business forced to surrender its alcohol license for three months earlier this year, says it has not had further problems with serving underage customers.

Owner Robert Renzi and new manager Michael Francis came before selectmen Thursday to report on the progress of a new identification checking system.

“To me it’s ‘so far, so good,’” Renzi told selectmen at the meeting.

Francis told selectmen that regular customers were learning the new policy of always showing identification, regardless of age.

East Dedham Liquors was cited for selling to a minor during a sting operation in November, which was the fifth citation for the business in 16 months.

Before that, selectmen held three hearings in August and October 2011 to deal with three previous violations, and the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission conducted a further hearing.

Francis was hired in April just before the liquor license was reinstated following a three-month suspension. Renzi introduced him to selectmen at the time and selectmen invited both men back to discuss the business’s progress.

James MacDonald, who does not participate in alcohol related hearings, remained present to discuss the business with Renzi and Francis. He said he was free to do so because they were coming at the board’s invitation.

“Your staff should ID every person that comes in,” MacDonald told Renzi. “You are this close from losing your business and it’s only by this board giving you another chance that you didn’t.”

MacDonald, as the state's First Deputy Treasurer, is involved with oversight of the Alcohol Beverages Control Commission, and so does not normally participate in alcohol-related hearings as a selectman.

Francis told selectmen that each person who was making a purchase was asked for identification, and out-of-state identification was not allowed unless the person was above the age of 30.

Selectman chairman Michael Butler did not raise issues with the identification system, but did ask Francis to tell delivery drivers not to park on handicapped parking spaces.

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