NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Northampton’s downtown is full of bars and restaurants. Six of those establishments have been put on notice. They were caught serving alcohol without asking for an I.D.
On June 30th, the Northampton Police went around to every alcohol establishment in the city to see if they were following liquor laws. The compliance check is funded with grant money, and underage volunteers from local colleges are sent in to buy a drink.
The six businesses who were found to be in violation were: The Roost, Taipei & Tokyo, La Veracruzana, Sakura Buffet & Vegan Palate, Fairfield Inn & Suites and ConVino Wine Bar.
Of the six restaurant that incurred violations, the most severe penalty was given to Sakura Buffet, because of a previous violation back in 2013.
“We said you really got to get a handle on this,” said Northampton License Commission Chairman William Rosen. “The owner revealed that the employees had not been TIPS or Serve-Safe trained, only he had. So we said, do this. Get them trained. We recommend it.”
22News went to Sakura Buffet. The owner told 22News it was just a mistake, and that it isn’t how they normally conduct business.
“Even if they are 45 years old we still ask them,” said Limei Chen. “I don’t know why they just made a mistake but usually we don’t do that. We just go by the rule because we need to ask people for I.D.”
Northampton Police told 22News using a fake I.D. is illegal, and that forging or altering a real I.D. is a felony.
“Forging or changing a Massachusetts drivers license or I.D. is a felony with some serious penalties and using a fake I.D. purchase alcohol is another charge,” said Northampton Police Captain John Cartledge.
The police told 22News a fake I.D. can look very real, and that training and card reader technology are key to spotting them.
Most of the businesses who violated the liquor law won’t have their license suspended, as long as they don’t have another violation in the next six months.