By LEAH DEARBORN
LYNNFIELD — The Board of Selectmen approved a new set of regulations for liquor license holders at a meeting on Monday and appointed three liquor enforcement officers.
“We actually don’t have a liquor policy right now. Nothing substantial,” said Town Administrator James M. Boudreau. “This puts them on notice of what their behavior is and gives penalties.”
Police Chief David J. Breen, who was one of the appointed enforcement officers, attended the meeting and presented the board with the proposed regulation changes.
According to the new rules and regulations, any infraction may be grounds for action by the board including the modification, suspension, revocation, non-renewal or cancellation of a license.
The guidelines for action suggest that a first violation be treated with a letter of reprimand and/or suspension of the license up to three days. Liquor closing hours of 11 p.m. for 10 days may also be imposed.
The second violation is penalized by suspension of the liquor license from three to 10 days and liquor closing hours of 11 p.m. for 30 days.
Three violations are cause for suspension from 10 to 30 days with liquor closing hours of 11 p.m. to be enforced for 30 days. A fourth violation results in the revocation of the license.
Breen explained the changes as a way of letting license holders know what’s at stake.
The changes included harsher penalties for serving a minor, with three violations leading to a license revocation when the sale or service of alcohol to underage drinkers is involved.
Boudreau recalled an establishment that had its liquor license suspended for two weekends during NFL playoff season.
“It’s a big hurt. That’s how seriously this board takes underage drinking,” said Boudreau.
Board member Richard Dalton questioned the severity of the penalties and asked what would happen if a license holder with a long history of responsibility wound up before the board for an infraction.
“These are guidelines,” said Boudreau. “The board still has the right to make decisions based on individual cases. You maintain the discretion to do less or to do more.”
Leah Dearborn can be reached at [email protected].