A young man celebrating his 21st birthday at The Landing Pub last September was served a shot of alcohol despite already being intoxicated and was later confonted by police in the Landing and ended up at South Shore Hospital.
That was the determination Tuesday afternoon of the Board of License Commissioners. Members took a rare unanimous vote in an alcohol license hearing, following up their decision with a two-day penalty to be served on a consecutive Friday and Saturday, April 12 and 13.
Four Square also faces the allegation that it served an intoxicated person that night, which according to police reports began with two brothers celebrating at bars in Weymouth before ending up at the Braintree establishments, where one brother allegedly continued drinking despite being "pretty banged up."
The second hearing was postponed again because the board failed to give adequate notice to Four Square of Tuesday's meeting, Chair Joe Powers said.
Technically, this was The Landing Pub's first alcohol offense since 2008, though the bar was found guilty at a hearing in December 2009. The board voted at the time to suspend its all-alcohol license for one day, a penalty that was suspended for 12 months and then removed from the bar's file.
The board typically keeps such offenses on its files for 48 months even if a suspended sentence passes without issue. In this case, even though the previous offense was not officially factored into the penalty phase, member Russell Forsberg said it was part of his decision to make a motion for the two-day suspension.
"We cannot ignore that a first offense did occur," Forsberg said.
Compelling the board's decision was the fact that the night manager Elizabeth Sarras admitted the man was served alcohol and that very soon afterward he was denied a drink because he appeared drunk. He then got into an altercation with another patron that led to him leaving the bar with his friends.
"This person should probably not have been served that first shot," Forsberg said.
Sarras said that she was in the back room the entire time the group was in the bar and did not see them come or go. The bartender on duty no longer works for The Landing Pub and did not appear before the board. Sarras also testified that by the time she went to look for video tape of that night it had already been erased.
A private investigator hired by the pub's attorney failed to elicit further information from members of the drinking party, aside from one brother saying he did not remember the events of the night.
"It's a difficult case," attorney Michael Modestino said. "My people are very remorseful for what happened that night."