Carbondale bars under scrutiny for over-serving patrons |

Carbondale bars under scrutiny for over-serving patrons

CARBONDALE ” Carbondale Police Chief Gene Schilling suspects some bars in town may be pushing booze a little harder as a way to help make ends meet during the recession.

And, while that might increase sales for liquor establishments, it’s also leading to over-serving of some patrons and causing other problems for police, he said.

“For the past year we have been seeing an increase in over-serving in bars,” Schilling said at a Carbondale Town Council work session this week to discuss a range of police issues.

Sometimes, bars will allow patrons in who are already visibly intoxicated and continue to serve them, he said.

“If someone is too intoxicated to be served, we would rather see (bar managers) escort them right back out,” he said, adding that some establishments are more cooperative than others.

Police officers will offer a ride home for someone who has had too much to drink.

“We’ve always offered that as an option, because we don’t have a local taxi service,” Schilling said.

But some bars and patrons have been taking advantage of that generosity, he said.

“Rides from the police are preferred over a DUI arrest, (but) patrons should not be served to the point that requests for courtesy rides are the norm instead of the exception,” he said.

To combat the problem, Carbondale trustees are prepared to revise some of the requirements for new liquor licenses and annual renewals.

Among them would be to require all bar/restaurant owners, managers and bartenders who serve alcohol to take TIPS (Training for Intervention Procedures) classes on responsible liquor serving, and to be retrained on an annual basis. All new employees would have to be TIPS trained within one month.

“I believe liquor stores should have the same training,” Schilling said. “They should not be selling alcohol to intoxicated patrons.”

Police officers would be trained and made available to teach the TIPS classes, which would be offered on a fee basis to recoup costs, he said.

A formal liquor license ordinance revision will be prepared and considered at a regular Town Council meeting in the near future.

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