Metro Nashville Beer Board Shows Mercy for Sales to Minors
Sep 24, 2015
For as long as we can remember, the Metro Nashville Beer Board has imposed an automatic formula for penalties for sales to minors. First offense is a fine, second offense is a 14 day suspension, and third offense is a 30 day suspension.
It mattered not how hard you are trying to prevent sales to minors or how large is your venue.
The mathematical application of penalties calls to mind a classic School House Rock Song, Three is a Magic Number
Every triangle has three corners,
Every triangle has three sides,
No more, no less.
You don't have to guess.
When it's three, you can see
It's a magic number.
Last night, Wednesday September 23, 2015, the beer board offered a $2,500 fine to several restaurants charged with a second sale to minor. Previously, a 14 day suspension was the only option.
As best we can understand the rationale, the Metro Nashville Beer Board will consider a fine for a second sale to minor if the restaurant or bar can demonstrate that it has policies and training in place to prevent sales to minors.
The Tennessee ABC used to follow a similar policy for sales to minors. If you are doing a good job trying to prevent sales to minors, you got a fine instead of a suspension.
Any restaurant or bar owner knows that no matter how much you train and how good your carding procedures are, you are at the mercy of your servers. A simple mistake by a server can lead to a disastrous suspension of your liquor license.
Although we agree that sales to minors is a huge issue for the industry, we applaud the Metro Nashville beer board for recognizing the efforts of law-abiding liquor license holders.