Selectman Anthony Vegnani is working with members of the Scituate Police Department to create a policy governing penalties for stores that violate the terms of their liquor licenses.
Currently, selectmen do not have a written policy, Vegnani said, and having one in place would offer board members guidelines with a range of penalties similar to those in other towns. Most of the violations involve alcohol sales to minors.
Working with Vegnani to develop guidelines are Police Chief Brian Stewart and Lieutenant Michael Stewart. After last Tuesday's meeting of selectmen, Vegnani said a draft policy would be presented to the other four selectmen in December.
During the selectmen’s meeting on Tuesday, Vegnani offered examples of penalties from other towns.
These ranged from one-day suspensions, to automatic suspensions of three days, to revocation of the license for third or fourth offenses. Another option offered ensures that any suspension of alcohol sales would be served on a busy day, such as Friday night and weekends instead of slow sales day.
Selectmen James Danehy and Richard Murray said they agreed the town should err on the side of strictness, but they also wanted flexibility built into a policy that the board would eventually vote on.
In August, selectmen ordered a one-day suspension of beer and wine sales at two businesses, Village Market and Mad Fish, after each was caught selling alcohol to minors for the second time in a year.
Selectmen added a condition that if the businesses are caught selling to minors again within a year, they will automatically receive an automatic two-day suspension. But Vegnani said the town’s penalties are not strict enough and was outvoted for a three-day suspension.