The Boston Licensing Board decides Thursday what action to take, if any, about an underage Boston University student served a vodka drink at Eastern Standard on May 2 and an underage BU student served a Red Bull and vodka the next night at T's Pub.
In both cases, the establishments acknowledged the violations and said they were taking steps to prevent them from happening again. Eastern Standard fired the bartender who served two young looking women - one of whom was actually at least 21 - without checking their IDs. T's Pub's manager has met with BU's dean of students to try to figure out what to do.
"It's a constant struggle," T's Pub manager Joseph Donovan told the licensing oard at a hearing today, noting that roughly 80% of his clientele consists of BU students. He said fake IDs are just getting better - the freshman who scored the Red Bull and vodka has an ID that passed the ID scanner the pub uses.
Donovan agreed with board Chairwoman Christine Pulgini that one step local colleges could take would be to imprint student's birth dates on their college IDs. She said that because they're more sophisticated than driver's licenses, because they are used for everything from getting into dormitories to obtaining meals, they might be harder to fake.
At Eastern Standard, managers said they were caught a bit by surprise by their violation, partly because they cater to a more mature crowd than a place like T's Pub, partly because the bartender failed to double check the IDs after the women had been okayed by a doorman. A manager said that, in addition to firing the bartender, he has been redoubling training, to emphasize to employees that "if there is any sliver of doubt, you need to say it's not worth it," and to deny a young-looking person a drink.
"I don't think it's a student hangout, but students are everywhere," restaurant attorney Dennis Quilty said.
On Thursday, the board could vote "no violation," warn the establishments to be more careful in the future or suspend their licenses for one or more days.
The students themselves now face criminal charges of, at a minimum, being a minor in possession of alcohol.