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Four Carolina Beach bars cited for serving underage

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CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) -- Four bars in Carolina Beach have been busted for serving underage drinkers. Today we spent the day with a bartender; a job that carries a lot of responsibility. from making sure those underage are not served to those who are, are not over-served."

Blackhorn bartender Clair Boulay loves mixing it up behind the bar, but don't let the smile fool you. As a bartender you're constantly watched, making sure you're following what Boulay says is this simple rule of keeping alcohol away from underage patrons.

"You know it's today's date 1989 right now, so as long as you know that, it's all good, 'cause the undercovers come in and give you their ID," Boulay said.

Though Boulay has never been busted by undercovers with Alcohol Law Enforcement, the same can't be said for other bartenders and bars in Carolina Beach. Last week Havana's Fresh Island Seafood, Tangerine Grill, Sonny's Lounge and Hoplight Pub all served a 19-year-old girl working for ALE.

"There's always a couple that are trying to get by with a fake or don't have ID's at all," Boulay said.

Boulay says knowing that people will try to drink underage and that the ALE is keeping an eye on businesses, checking ID's has become a responsibility that is shared within the work place.

"We actually have bouncers that check at the door, but it doesn't matter," she said. "Once you're in the door you're checked at least twice, probably more, especially on a busy night."

Boulay adds that being a tourist spot can make it a bit of challenge when checking ID's from all over the country, but says dealing with that challenge is part of the job

"They're all different, but you just have to take your time and know what to look for," Boulay said.

As for the four bars and restaurants busted for serving an underage patron, ALE will pass on its report to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission, which will decide on any penalties the businesses may face.

We reached out to the businesses who were cited by ALE. The only one to give us a comment was Havana's. The owner told us it's unfortunate, but said they'll take extra measures to make sure their staff is aware of all the rules and regulations.

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suspend their license to dispense for 30 days during tourist season & let that hit the owners in the checkbook. That will send a message.

My thoughts

I typically agree with everything you say, as it seems rational and well thought-out. On this one, however, I'd be more inclined to say that the whole bar shouldn't be punished.

None of the owners want this publicity. I can't see any owner of a bar intentionally serving underage. I'm sure it happens, but what are the odds of it happening to all 4 bars?

Being part of the younger crowd, I do enjoy going to these establishments regularly. I can tell you that most bartenders are younger, and are therefore influenced by things more easily than a more experienced adult would be.

A smile from a pretty girl is typically enough to make a bouncer or bartender look the other way.

I'd bet that the bartenders busted were just employees, with no real responsibility or oversight of these bars.

Granted, odds are that the one of the owners could have been involved in serving underage, and should be punished appropriately.

I guess what I'm saying is the punishment should fit the crime.

I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on it.

Thanks

for not making some slashing comments about my background or mental skills,

2 Things

1. Accountability begins at the top and that would be with the owners.

2. Peer pressure works wonders. Let co-workers lose a few days pay due to the stupid actions of one or two employees, it likely will not happen again.

You have to start somewhere to coreect the problem. From what I read on this website and in the Star News, nothing attempted to date has been effective.