BANGOR, Maine – The Bangor Police Department’s latest citywide sweep has turned up more than a dozen new violations of state law regarding the sale of liquor to people under the legal drinking age of 21.
In two earlier rounds of visits to local bars and businesses and another conducted over the weekend, members of the Police Department’s recently reactivated Special Enforcement Team worked with volunteers, ages 18 to 20, Sgt. Paul Edwards said Monday.
Under the watchful eye of police, the young volunteers attempted to buy booze from local bars and businesses.
In the first sting operation, conducted during the last two weeks of December, three Bangor businesses and three clerks were charged with violations. A second round of visits in January resulted in charges for six other businesses and charges against four employees.
During the latest round of visits last weekend, Edwards said, the team and its volunteers turned up 14 violations at the following five Bangor businesses:
. Paddy Murphy’s, 26 Main St., one count of selling liquor to a minor. Pub waitress Kiely Webb was charged with one count of selling liquor to a minor.
. Malfattori’s Bar & Grill, 15 Hildreth St., two counts of selling liquor to a minor. Owner-bartender Wendy Colavecchio was charged with two counts of selling liquor to a minor.
. The Reverend Noble Pub, 10 Broad St., two counts of selling liquor to a minor. Owner-bartender John Parlee was charged with two counts of selling liquor to a minor.
. Diva’s Gentleman’s Club, 190 Harlow St., one count each of selling liquor to a minor and allowing a minor to remain on the premises.
. Sea Dog Brewing Co., 26 Front St., two counts of selling liquor to a minor.
The workers who were charged individually with selling liquor to underage people face $190 fines for a first offense, according to state law. The charges against the businesses are administrative in nature and can lead to $500 fines for the first offense.
Bangor police Sgt. Brad Johnston is the Special Enforcement Team’s current leader, an assignment that began on Nov. 1 and that runs through the end of this year. The rest of the team consists of two police officers, each of whom serves on the team for four months at a time.
In addition to trying to stop alcohol sales to people under the age of 21, the three-member team in recent months has taken on such missions as recovering stolen goods from pawnshops, helping with a homicide investigation and going after drivers illegally passing school buses, Johnston said Monday.
When time permits, the team also prints out lists of outstanding warrants and sets out to try to find the scofflaws, he said.
“It’s hard telling what we’ll be doing at any given time,” Johnston said, adding that the team’s role and composition allow it to remain flexible so members are ready to respond to any unexpected issues that might arise in the city and its neighborhoods.
Though he could not say when the next underage alcohol sales stings might take place, Johnston did say it “will be done on a regular basis.”
Edwards said the Police Department’s effort to curb underage drinking was funded, in part, by a grant from the city’s Health and Community Services Department.