City urges alcohol curbs for St. Patrick’s

Liquor stores, bars asked to cut hours

By Martin Finucane
Globe Staff / March 17, 2011

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Urging residents to celebrate with moderation, city officials said yesterday that they were asking South Boston liquor stores to cut another hour off the time they will be open on the day of the big St. Patrick’s Day Parade in that neighborhood.

Officials said they were asking the stores to close their doors at 4 p.m. on Sunday. For the past four years, the stores were asked to close at 5 p.m. The normal Sunday closing time is 6 p.m., said Patricia A. Malone, director of the Mayor’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Licensing.

Bars in the area are also being asked to stop letting in patrons at 6:30 p.m., stop serving alcohol at 7 p.m., and to send all patrons home by 7:30 p.m., as they have for the past four years, Malone said.

“We’re suggesting and we’re hoping that they’ll cooperate with us,’’ said Malone. “We’re asking them to partner with the city and saying it would be greatly appreciated.’’ She said the city has always gotten the businesses’ cooperation.

City officials said police would increase patrols, focusing not only on the Sunday parade, but also on bars on St. Patrick’s Day, which is today, and throughout the weekend.

Officials said police would check bars and streets, especially in areas frequented by large numbers of college students. They said students arrested will not only face criminal charges, they will be subject to penalties from their institutions. Officials also said police would be cracking down on drunken driving.

“We are working hard to provide a festive, fun, and family-friendly atmosphere, and we ask that everyone celebrate responsibly to contribute to a positive and welcoming environment for all,’’ Mayor Thomas M. Menino said in a statement.

Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis said officials “expect a peaceful and enjoyable weekend. We are working closely with members of the South Boston community to create an event that is designed for families.’’

Martin Finucane can be reached at