Colonel Steven G. O’Donnell, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police and Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety, recently announced the formation of a task force consisting of local public safety agencies to work collaboratively on addressing safety issues associated with bars, nightclubs, consumption of alcohol by underage persons, as well as other alcohol-related offenses.
The Alcohol Compliance Task Force is comprised of the following agencies:
- Rhode Island State Police
- Narragansett Police Department
- South Kingstown Police
- University of Rhode Island Police Department
- Providence Police Department
- Bristol Police Department
- Smithfield Police Department
- Newport Police Department
- Rhode Island Fire Marshal’s Office
- Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation
- Roger Willliam's University Campus Security
- Rhode Island College Police
- Bryant University Campus Security
- Providence College Security
- Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)
The task force conducts nightclub compliance checks, as well as responds to areas identified by local police departments and the general public as being problematic due to excessive use and underage consumption of alcohol.Since the beginning of September, the task force has been active throughout the State and had inspected 30 bars and nightclubs by the end of the month. Six establishments were cited for regulatory violations including eight fire code and five Department of Business Regulation violations.
Four nightclubs were found to have underage patrons inside consuming alcoholic beverages. As the result of these inspections, 21 individuals were summoned to appear in District Court to answer to the violation of Possession of an Alcoholic Beverage by an Underage Person. One was also charged with Misrepresentation of Age (False Identification).
Of the establishments cited, two are located in Narragansett:
- Bon Vue Inn, 1230 Ocean Road: Five patrons summonsed for Possession of an Alcoholic Beverage by an Underage Person
- Charlie O’s Tavern, 2 Sand Hill Cove: Two patrons summonsed for Possession of Alcoholic Beverage by an Underage Person with one also summonsed for Misrepresentation by an Underage Person (False Identification)
- Five individuals were summonsed for Possession of an Alcoholic Beverage by an Underage Person
- In addition to the summons issued by the task force, members of the Narragansett Police also issued sixteen municipal summonses for Possession of Alcohol by an Underage Person.
- Two individuals were summonsed for Transportation of Alcohol by an Underage Person
- One individual was summonsed for Possession of an Alcoholic Beverage by an Underage Person
- One individual was arrested and charged with Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicating Liquor or Drugs and Refusal to Submit to a Breathalyzer Test
- One individual was summonsed for Possession of Marijuana (less than one ounce)
- One juvenile was referred to Family Court for Possession of Alcohol by an Underage Person
The colleges and universities that are represented in the task force have received notification of those cited who are students at their educational institutions so that they may take the internal disciplinary action they deem appropriate.
The task force aims to continue its efforts with the goal of averting a tragedy such as the Station Nightclub fire, as well alcohol-related fatalities caused by irresponsible or underage consumption of alcohol.