When Det. William Gallagher of the BPD's licensed premises unit finds very young looking people drinking in a bar and they hand over licenses that seem to show they're over 21, he likes to ask them questions on the information on the cards. Such as what their Zip code is.
The trick came in handy on Nov. 8 at the Banshee on Dorchester Avenue in Dorchester, when a woman with a Bud Light gave him a New York license with a 1990 birth date, he told the Boston Licensing Board this morning. The woman correctly told him the birth date on the card, but when he asked for her home Zip code and she replied "02127," he told her the jig was up - since that's the Zip code for South Boston, roughly 120 miles from the nearest New York town.
Upon further investigation, it turned out she was 18 and from Marshfield, he said. Under questioning from the Banshee's attorney, Gallagher allowed as how the fake license was a good replica - right down to her photo.
The Banshee was one of several bars and restaurants that will find out Thursday whether the licensing board will suspend their licenses for letting young'uns get alcoholic drinks.
Venu, 100 Warrenton St. in the Theater District, had to explain how two underage Saudi students at Northeastern were served drinks on Nov. 9. Both had to be taken to local hospitals because it turned out they also downed white pills that made one "conscious but not responsive" and the other "act erraticaly."
Rumor, also 100 Warrenton St., finds out Thursday if it faces any sanctions for letting a guy who turned out to be an underage French student at Suffolk with a fake British license pour a vodka shot into the throat of another drinker - who actually was of legal age, on Nov. 20..
Applebee's, 381 Chestnut Hill Ave. in Brighton, was cited for a Nov. 24 incident in which three out-of-towners under 21 managed to get two Bud Lights and a margarita. A chain lawyer said the outlet has tightened up its restrictions on out-of-state licenses - to the point the chain is now getting complaints from people actually over 21 being denied drinks there.
All of the under-aged drinkers cited by police now face criminal charges in local district courts.