This time, a Fenway bar says it's really serious about keeping out underage drinkers

The Baseball Tavern told the Boston Licensing Board today that it will really crack down on underage college students bellying up to its bar after it was caught serving more young people.

The 1270 Boylston St. sports bar, which got a two-day license suspension for a Dec. 31 incident involving two underage men, was before the board for an incident on Jan. 26 involving two underage women caught by BPD detectives at the bar with beers - one draft, one in a bottle.

Sgt. Det. Robert Mulvey said that, as in December, he noticed a doorman swiftly letting in college-age patrons without bothering to run their IDs through a scanner.

A bar manager said that the bar has changed its security policies to avoid future under-age drinking. Doormen are now required to run all IDs through a scanner and roaming security guards will double check IDs of anybody inside who looks too young to be consuming adult beverages. The bar is also asking BPD to assign a detail officer on Friday and Saturday nights to scare away the underage set.

In addition to the other two detectives of the BPD licensing division, Mulvey was also accompanied by two inspectors from the Boston Fire Department, who found 225 people on a second floor licensed for just 150 people.

A bar attorney said that while the tavern as a whole did not exceed its capacity, she acknowledged the second floor did. She said the tavern now stations a bouncer at the stairs up to the second floor to ensure its capacity is not exceeded.

The board decides on Thursday what action, if any, to take.


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Million dollar question

What does Baseball Tavern pay its staff for each fake ID confiscated? Going rate at many Allston bars is $20.

Voting is closed. 14

Can bar employees legally confiscate IDs they believe to be fake

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They're not sworn officers of the law, they're not judge, they're not jury.

IDs, fake or not, have value. "Confiscating" without authority is theft.

Maybe you rationalize it as a deal with the person: "You can give me your ID, and I won't tell the police", and they hand it over. False government ID is a serious crime. Now you're an extortioner, a liar, or an accessory after the fact. If you're also standing there in a threatening bouncer manner, or blocking them from leaving without authority to do so, bonus criminal violations for you.

If confiscating is a practice you know is illegal, but you do it anyway, that sounds like the cause of a lot of other problems that get bars brought before the licensing board.

If MA lawmakers have given bars authority to confiscate suspected fake IDs from people, and MA lawmakers have that authority to give (what about non-MA IDs), then nevermind.

Voting is closed. 18

Years ago I had to demand to

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Years ago I had to demand to speak to a manager when a doorman attempted to take my valid ID. I might've been young, but the ID was from NH - not exactly an exotic license.

Voting is closed. 15

Speak to a manager?

Usually, when people steal from me, I tell the police, which are already paid for to investigate it.

I'm no lawyer, but confiscation works, because the person presenting the fake is already guilty of a crime. And if they're not, they can simply call the police and report the theft. The doorguy isn't going anywhere. Both he and the customer can wait for the police.

I've been told of instances where the police arrived, and returned the confiscated ID to the customer. The doorguy was not arrested or cited for any crime.

Voting is closed. 10

From Experience

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As someone who put in several years as a door guy (bouncer is a dumb term that makes it sound like we're looking for trouble) I can say that the police/alcohol enforcement hassled me for a lot of things, but confiscating IDs was not one of them. Most people will sheepishly walk away when you confiscate their fake ID without even putting forward any argument.

Voting is closed. 14

Yeah, but is it legal?

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People aren't supposed to do legal things, even if cops look the other way.

If it's not legal, but is a good thing, then lawmakers with appropriate jurisdiction should look at making it legal.

Voting is closed. 27