NEW SHOREHAM, R.I. (WPRI) — During the height of summer tourism season, Block Island police are cracking down on underage drinking.
In a sting operation, police asked an 18- and 19-year-old to go into seven different bars last weekend to see if they would be served.
“Block Island’s always been a party place, but let’s face it, it’s busier. It’s a lot busier than it ever has been so it’s crazy, it’s out of control,” said Andre Boudreau, First Warden, New Shoreham Town Council.
A police report obtained by 12 News shows the 18-year-old tried to get a drink at seven randomly selected bars, six of which served them alcohol without asking for their identification.
On a separate occasion, the 19-year-old was served alcohol twice after asking for a drink at six bars.
It’s an issue town councilors in New Shoreham talked about during their meeting Wednesday night and are calling a concerning trend.
“If I was one of the owners of the establishments I’d be sure to be on notice which Chief [Peter] Chabot has given them and if anything happens in the future, say this weekend, tonight, tomorrow night, then there will be severe consequences,” Town Solicitor James Callaghan said.
The police report says that the establishments have been notified of the outcome of the compliance checks.
“I just hope everybody takes this really, really seriously because if this happens a second time it’s going to be a big black mark,” Council Member Martha Ball added.
Police say they plan to continue their compliance check through the summer. They add these could escalate into violation checks and lead to the possibility of their liquor licenses being taken away or criminal violations.
Councilors also discussed meeting with the establishments to work on ways to improve the issue on the island moving forward.