EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Haverhill

September 9, 2013

Bad timing leads to punishment for store

Deputy chief drove by as drunk customer stumbled out of store with booze

(Continued)

Commission member Gerald Sewell said Patel’s story seemed “shaky.”

“She was tipsy or loaded,” Sewell said to Patel. “I wonder if you are telling the truth.”

“You might make a few dollars (selling to intoxicated person),” Commission Chairman Joseph Edwards told Patel. “But it will cost you a lot more if we suspend your license for a few days. ... Don’t do it, because it can lead to someone getting hurt and a lot of trouble for you.”

The commission voted to suspend Patel’s license to sell alcohol for two days, but the panel suspended the punishment for six months because Patel has no history of license violations. If the store has no more problems during the probationary period, the suspension doesn’t have to be served, according to the commission’s decision.

Patel said he has installed several signs inside his store since the incident alerting customers that picture identification is required to buy alcohol and that no one who is intoxicated will be sold alcohol.

“I’ll be more careful in the future for sure,” Patel told the commission.

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