Businesses suing city to overturn business curfew face retaliation, says bar owner | Paterson Times

Businesses suing city to overturn business curfew face retaliation, says bar owner


A city bar owner told members of the governing body that the city has been retaliating against liquor license holders who have made it their aim to overturn the business curfew ordinance that forces them to close at midnight.

“After we used our constitutional right [to file a lawsuit] we’ve been retaliated against,” said Quilvio Montesino, owner of Quilvio’s Pub, on Tuesday evening. He said the city’s police has been sending in young police officers, who are under the drinking age of 21, to purchase alcohol.

A police officer six foot tall, bald headed, wearing a leather jacket, just a week from turning 21-year-old is sent in to trick liquor businesses to sell, said Montesino. He said often employees fall for the trick and end up selling to the customer based on age approximation without checking identifications.

“You should just ID everyone,” said Martiza Davila, councilwoman at-large. She said when she’d walk into Rite Aid to purchase cigarette she was never spared from showing her identification. “Somebody is coming in to buy alcohol or cigarettes, ID them, ask for ID; I don’t have it on me — ‘I’m sorry I cannot sell to you.’ They’ll come back to you with their ID,” she said.

Police director Jerry Speziale said a business is often selected based on investigative leads, surveillance, and observations of patrol officers. He said the city’s narcotic division and ABC personnel conducts operations based on objective data.

Montesino suggested the city start fining the employees who sell to minors instead of the businesses. “There’s no excuse for selling to minors, but we have to address this differently,” said Montesino.

“We cannot do that because they are your employees,” said Ruby Cotton, 4th Ward councilwoman when Montesino suggested the city start citing employees.

Alex Mendez, councilman at-large, asked if the city’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Board offers training to liquor business employees.

“The ABC is not here to train your employees on how to run your business,” added Cotton.

William McKoy, 3rd Ward councilman, said Montesino’s fining the employee idea is a “novel concept” that exists nowhere else in the United States. He said it’s entirely uncommon to see employees, who work under the direction of an employer, be fined while on the job.

McKoy said Montesino is linking the lawsuit with the enforcement actions the city has been taking. He said the council would not discuss a matter that is currently in litigation.

“If you’re a license holder of a liquor establishment you’re ultimately responsible for your employees and your establishment,” said Speziale. “You have to do your due diligence to make sure everybody understands the rules and regulation of serving alcohol.”

Related posts

  • SomebodySmart

    The drinking age is a hate crime committed by hypocritical ("I can
    drive better drunk than teenagers can sober!") bigots. In a free
    country, the citizen would decide what to drink; parents would govern
    their child until he or she moves out; and the drunk driver would be the
    one to pay the price for drunk driving.

    MADD is a hate
    group in the pocket of auto makers. They know what would happen if
    there was a serious crackdown on drunk driving. Let's say they take all
    the goons that are enforcing underage drinking laws and put them to work
    busting drunk drivers. Teenagers might drink more, and break their
    addiction to driving. More people under suspension means more bus
    riders, and bus companies could extend their hours and routes. More
    drunks walking home means more walkers demanding crosswalk lights and
    plowed sidewalks. Cars would become less necessary. More teens could
    pick up the want ads and find jobs without buying a car.

    a MADD bigots is desperately trying to pretend it's not her own fault
    she used to drive drunk herself. This after she gives a victim impact
    statement to the murderer who took her family member, she is desperately
    trying to pretend her own past drunk driving crimes are the fault of a
    society that was tolerant of underage drinking.

    see now, it's okay for a pair of homosexuals to get "married" and have a
    gay old time; and to force a commercial wedding photographer to
    participate in the show and to capture the feeling on artwork bearing
    the photographer's commercial signature; but it's a crime for Mr. and
    Mrs. Twenty to have champagne at their wedding.

    is hiring gun-toting goons in bulletproof vests to force businesses to
    turn away homosexuals, but the state hires gun-toting goons in
    bulletproof vests to intimidate businesses into turning away persons
    under 21. Homosexuals made a choice. It ain't a shotgun wedding. What
    are Mr. and Mrs. Twenty supposed to do, build a time machine so they can
    obey a law against being under 21?