I-Team: Mass. Uncovers Worst Bars In State

By Joe Shortsleeve, WBZ-TV

WORCESTER (CBS) — They are the bars that allow drunk drivers on our roads. Night clubs and corner taverns where convicted drunks say they had that “last” drink before getting on the road.

The court system keeps a list, a list no bar owner wants to be on.
It is one in the morning and Worcester police and state alcohol investigators are once again are at “Irish Times,” a night club in Worcester.
Inside the place is jammed with young people and on this night the state will charge the bar owners with serving drinks to drunks.

WBZ-TV’s Joe Shortsleeve reports

“The bartender served him two captain and cokes and a beer,” one undercover investigator says he saw.
“And you say he basically had his head on the bar?” asked WBZ-TV’s Joe Shortsleeve.
The investigator responded, “His head was on the bar, his eyes were closed, his head was popping up and down.”
He went on to reiterate that this person was being served.

When state alcohol investigators go into a bar they are not looking for people who have had a few too many glasses of wine. They are looking for “fall down” drunks — people who, if they were driving, would surely kill someone.
Undercover video shot outside a bar in Boston last New Year’s Eve shows how bad the problem is. Young people seen staggering into the street, some falling into the gutter, others collapsing on the side walk. That is what the state investigators are trying to stop.   

In the past two and half years, Irish Times has been named 20 times as the last stop for a drunk driver, making it the second worst record in eastern Massachusetts.

The worst record in this part of the state with 28 notifications in the past 30 months is The Thirsty Whale in Newburyport. We called and stopped in, but the owner would not talk to us.
Ted Mahoney, the lead investigator with the State Alcohol Beverage Control Commission, says, “The vast majority of bars and restaurants in the Commonwealth do not end up on this list. So clearly there is indifference or incompetence in the management of the establishment.” 
Other bars in eastern Massachusetts with multiple notifications from the court system include The Golden Banana in Peabody with 16 in the past two and half years.
Also in Peabody, Paddy Kelly’s has been named 12 times by convicted drunks since 2008.

Also with a dozen notifications in the past 30 months is The Lazy Dog in Marlboro. The owner tells WBZ it is not always easy spotting a drunk.
“It is always a question of how much that person has had even before they walk in the door and that makes it difficult to monitor what is going on,” said Matt Leduc.
Alcohol investigators say the holiday season can be a very dangerous time. They say they will be blending in, watching, trying to keep people safe.
And just this month the state of Massachusetts fined a night club in Springfield, Mardi Gras, $20,000 for serving drinks to drunks.

  • http://pintoforder.wordpress.com/2010/11/24/wbz-on-eastern-massachusetts-worst-bars-location-location-location/ WBZ on Eastern Massachusetts’ Worst Bars: Location, Location, Location « Pint of Order!

    […] It’s fairly obvious that far too many people overindulge far too often.  In an article about Massachusetts’ worst bars in terms of over-serving customers who should be cut-off, WBZ […]

  • SMD

    The Irish Times bar is in Worcester, The article says its the second worst bar in Eastern Mass. Since when is Worcester, Ma in Eastern Mass.

  • Murph

    @SMD: Well, if you divide the state in two – eastern and western – Worcester is in the eastern half. Though, it’s more commonly referred to as being in central MA.

  • P.J. Washburn

    @SMD: amazing with that whole story, all you got was Worcester was in Eastern MA.

  • john

    kudos to joe shortsleeve and the abcc. let me get this straight, they went into bars looking for drunks??? sounds pretty tough. some people have it so hard…

  • Not Surprised

    They should check out Clinton. I’ve seen people fall out of the bars there!

    • Concerned

      Not only does Irish Times serve booze to drunks, they also have a real problem there with drugs! I have seen people in the bathrooms doing drugs without so much as a single concern for being kicked out. My sister watched a younger male staff member at the entrance hand off drugs to a friend of a friend. Why would anyone fear being kicked out when the supply is from the people that are suppose to be keeping watch?
      I am a 22 years old student, I enjoy going out and having fun.This did not feel like fun. I do not use drugs and felt very uncomfortable that not only could drugs be obtained easily from workers, but also that I was now at risk just being in the same bathroom. Now I am open to being possibly arrested or accused just because I need to use the bathroom. ( that of course if anyone ever bothers to start monitoring the bathrooms)
      I was also surprised that females there are not only allowed but encouraged to bare themselves. Like I want to look at some nasty drunk girls crack?
      The entire place seems like a free for all. Nobody really cares whats going on. I was told by one of the girls in the dorm that one night someone was having sex right up in the club! To each their own
      There are plenty of other places in the city that offer a much better environment. To top it all off this place does not seem to have climate control. Very nasty and sticky in there even in September. After having gone there twice it was a easy decision not to go back.

  • Scot Neri

    I ran that bar for 5+ years and never had a violation and was only named twice as last establishment to drink on a dui.

    These guys are clearly incompetant

  • James Masle

    Sounds like just another Friday or Saturday night at the majority of bars around Faneuil Hall/State and Broad St area, except ofcourse the license violations.

  • Loyal customer

    Irish times has one of the best staffs around! the night this story was reported was during a “greatful dead show” the city was filled with people walking the streets bvar hopping. go to any bar any night of the week and you will find somone who is not legally able to drive!! thats why people either have desiganted drivers or get cabs!!! yes people get drunk that why people drink!! illegalize drinking if thats the case!!!!! but stop tearing apart our local businesses!!! its wrong!! the people sited wer walking to there hotel 2 minutes away!!! but of course they dont say that in the news!! Anything for a story Right???

  • loyal customer

    Scot Neri didnt you forget to pay your taxes??? that why you lost the place right? who incompident again? they had investigatords who just wanted to make a story!!! go to pub 99 they serve thos big mugs of beer..after two of thos i had to wait a while before i left!!! i wanna see some footage of people falling over at irish times!!! i only saw that footage of other clubs!!! show some proof!! did you breathalize these people??? wheres the dam evidence?

  • loyal customer

    joe shortsleeves next story should be “girls who have a problem keeping there clothes on” Then you can hit up all the strip clubs!!! hahah ridiculous…lets focus on the economy and crime,

  • DJL

    As is common with most things in life, you can take the same information and twist it anyway you want to make a story. Why not focus on the real issue here….irresponsible adults drinking too much, getting in their cars and driving….

  • Very Offended!

    It’s interesting how Irish Times owners were not allowed to comment.. If that had been the case they wouldn’t have a story. As of October of 2009 Irish Times took on a new set of owners. With a new set of owners comes new rules and regulations. With previous management, on any given night the bartenders drank more than the customers! With the new management Irish Times has been cited for this kind of offense 2 or 3 times in the past YEAR. And don’t forget that this is only the “LAST DRINK”. It’s hard to tell if someone is drunk when they order their first drink, as the man said in the video. Irish Times has some of the strictest policies in Worcester. I’d also like to see some footage of a man being served while he is nodding off at a bar. WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD SERVE SOMEONE LIKE THAT? Get REAL. This story is 100% bogus. The next time you give a bar a bad rep, make sure you have evidence that is PRESENT to the current management. You let one person talk, and another declined comment. Irish Times didn’t get a chance to defend itself. I have lost all respect for this new station.

  • Soup

    Well at least Scot had the balls to put his name on his post…

  • Sports527

    Where can you see the complete 2010 list?

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