Northborough – The Northborough Board of Selectmen discussed the town's “Bring Your Own Bottle” (BYOB) policy at its Oct. 15 meeting.
The discussion was predicated by the recent issuance of the town's final two all-alcohol licenses. The town still has two beer and wine licenses available.
Currently, there is no established BYOB policy in the town which means that restaurants are allowed to offer BYOB to their customers, unregulated. Town Administrator John Coderre said that he is not aware of an establishment in town that is currently utilizing this policy.
The board members unanimously agreed that action needs to be taken regarding enacting some sort of BYOB policy. There are three options that can be instituted: keep the policy as is, unregulated; prohibit BYOB entirely; or allow BYOB with certain regulations.
Coderre warned the board, “You can’t regulate BYOB to the extent that you can regulate liquor licenses.”
Selectman Aaron Hutchins said, “I am not in favor doing nothing. I don’t know that I am in favor of an outright ban because I’d like to know what the options are for regulations.”
Selectman ?Jeff Amberson agreed with Hutchins.
“I’d really like to know how well it [BYOB] can be regulated,” he said.
Selectman Dawn Rand requested that the board ask for town's council input, especially regarding the town's liability concerning the policy.
Selectman Leslie Rutan said she was concerned with what authority the server and/or restaurant management has regarding allowing patrons to consume alcoholic beverages and then cutting a patron off.
“I like the idea of BYOB but would want to put in protective measures for the establishment,” she said.
William J. Pantazis, the board's chair, said he would like for the board to receive more information from Town Council, and the Northborough Police and Fire Departments, before making a decision.
Coderre said that his staff will meet and compose a draft for Town Council to review. That draft will then be submitted to the board for discussion at its next meeting, Monday, Nov. 5.
“Nothing is going to happen without an opportunity for the public to provide their input,” Coderre said. He added said that although a public hearing is not legally required, the board may prefer to hold one regarding this issue.