Update: Board found there was not enough evidence to prove the woman was drugged at the bar, so no violation.
A woman and her friend had just left the Lincoln on West Broadway when they turned the corner onto Dorchester Street and the woman started vomiting and then collapsed. Her friend flagged down a couple of police officers, who immediately radioed for an ambulance, because she was unconscious and her breathing very shallow - but every ambulance in the city was tied up, so they put her in the back of their cruiser and rushed her to Boston Medical Center, where a blood test revealed the presence of ketamine.
The Boston Licensing Board took testimony on the Oct. 31 incident today; it's the second such hearing about spiked drinks in a month, and comes after both the board and Boston Police warned bars to stay alert for patrons getting their drinks spiked.
The Lincoln's general manager and attorney said nobody at the bar had any idea about the incident until some 3 1/2 weeks later, when BPD detectives arrived to issue a citation; by that time, the bar's surveillance system had already taped over the recordings from that night, so there was no way to see who might have spiked the woman's drink.
"We're sorry for what happened to this individual, but [the Lincoln] literally had no knowledge until 3 1/2 weeks later," attorney Dennis Quilty said. "The video had run its course and played over just impossible to retrieve anything at that time." He said that the night of the incident, nobody had complained to anybody at the bar, the police did not arrive for any investigation and nothing seemed out of the ordinary, based on interviews General Manager Will Clark did with employees on duty that night.
Licensing Sgt. Det. William Gallagher said his investigation that led to the citation and today's hearing was delayed because the woman and her friend were both from out of town and it proved difficult contacting them.
Clark said he and his employees were already taking steps to try to prevent drink spiking, both because of the city alerts and because the bar is popular with young people. He said bartenders and servers are trained to quickly remove drinks at the bar or at unoccupied tables, that they keep an eye out for suspicious looking people and that they are all trained in recognizing signs of possible drugging among patrons.
The board will hold a meeting Thursday to decide whether the bar could have done anything more to prevent the incident and, if so, whether any punishment is required.