A week after taking up the issue of allowing "bring you own bottle" (BYOB) restaurants in Mansfield, it now appears likely that the selectmen are unlikely to take action on a proposal that would allow residents to drink their own alcohol in establishments without a restaurant or liquor license in the near future.
While there is no state or local law banning a BOYB policy, there is local bylaw that states forbids drinking in a public place or in a building accessible by the public that does not have the proper liquor licenses for serving alcohol.
Recapping the proposal, Selectmen Chair Olivier Kozlowski recommended creating a sub-license for BYOB establishments that would require the staff to be TIPS trained.
A new sub-license would be require to be brought up at a town meeting due to the current bylaw.
According to Kozlowski, the new license would allow busineesses to have a BYOB policy as allowed by state law without the risk of residents violating the town's bylaw.
While the board's chairman was willing to go ahead and keep looking at the idea, other selectmen were not as willing to keep looking at the idea.
“We’re thinking about this way too much. I don’t see the point in forming a sub-class license,” Selectmen Kevin Moran said. “I think at this point the stuff that is being brought before us, it’s something that when we’re talking about liquor licenses we’re talking about the need to control and regulate very tightly, there’s no mechanism to do so.”
Moran added that the bylaw that exists now should be enforced if there is an issue involving public consumption in public places and in buildings without licenses.
With the availability of two restaurant licenses, Selectman Doug Annino suggested using those licenses if the establishment needed to serve food rather than create a new sub-license.
“If there are two licenses available, why aren't we forcing people to take those?” Annino said.
While the issue has been tabled until the next meeting, Town Manger Bill Ross admitted that it didn't look like the BYOB policy would become a reality.