The Board of Selectmen voted on Tuesday to suspend the liquor licenses of four Reading businesses.
The decision came after the Reading Police Department presented evidence that Oye's Restaurant and Bar, Bangkok Spice, The Wine Shop of Reading, and The Knights of Columbus all allegedly served alcohol to a minor without asking for identification after a sting conducted between June 22 and June 24th.
All four businesses will face a three-day suspension of their liquor licenses, which will be surrendered to the town on July 18 at 9:00 a.m., and returned on July 21 at 9:00 a.m.
A placard will be visible at the business during these days informing customers that they are suspended from selling alcohol due to the suspension of their liquor license.
There is, however, a five day appeal process where the business owners have the chance to appeal this ruling.
A series of compliance checks were made to make sure Reading businesses with liquor licenses weren't violating general law 138, chapter 34, which states that the sale/delivery of alcohol to a person under the age of 21 is prohibited.
Representatives from the violating businesses appeared before the Board at Reading Town Hall on July 5 for individual hearings.
The Chief of Police was present at the hearings, as well as Sergeant Mark D. Segalla who is the Detective Division Commander and conducted the investigation with help from other detectives. Segalla is also a 13 year veteran of the Reading Police Department.
During each sting, the Police Department had an underage person with no identification on their person go into businesses and attempt to order an alcoholic beverage, or carry alcohol out of the store.
According to police reports and statements by the Sergeant, all four beforementioned businesses failed to ask for proper identification, allowing the minor to purchase and become in possession of alcohol.
The owner of Bangkok Spice, Palatat Pattenesuanab, who was present at the hearing stated that it was the restaurant's mistake.
"This will never happen again," Pattenesuanab said. "We learned from this mistake."
Kevin Ye, owner of Oye's Restaurant, was equally as apologetic.
Representatives from the Knights of Columbus asked for leniency by the Board because the underage operative knew many patrons and members at the bar, claiming that this led to an assumption that he was over 21.
"How often do these assumptions happen?" questioned Board member Stephen Goldy. "You can't bank on everyone being honest."
It was also discovered during the hearings that some of the businesses' employees may not have TIPs training, which is required to serve alcoholic beverages.
In addition, Oye's may face another hearing regarding the claim by the Reading Police Department that there was no manager on the premises when they attempted to deliver the notice to appear before the Board.