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.