State Charges North Andover Restaurant with Serving Minors, Violating COVID-19 Rules

State officials say a North Andover restaurant served alcohol to minors and failed to meet COVID-19 safety standards last Thursday night.

Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission investigators entered Casa Blanca Mexican Restaurant around 9 p.m. and charged the restaurant with failure to comply with COVID-19 safety standards, which require tables be positioned so to maintain at least a six-foot distance from all other tables and high foot-traffic areas. Investigators also found 24 minors in possession of false identification and or alcohol. Most of the young people were approximately 19 years of age.

“This health crisis is far from over and taking care of all Massachusetts residents is of the utmost importance,” said state Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, who oversees the Commission, “By continuing to educate, monitor, and enforce these safety standards we will help save lives.”

Goldberg’s office added, recent reports show an increase of COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts are related to younger people who are under 30. “This raises concerns that asymptomatic young people are helping to spread the virus to more vulnerable individuals. The enforcement conducted by the ABCC ensures that restaurants and other on-premise pouring establishments maintain compliance with the Governor’s Sector Specific Safety Standards in order to prevent dangerous behaviors.”

The office also noted three teens die from drinking and driving every day, and approximately six teens die every day of non-driving alcohol-related causes, such as homicide, suicide and drowning.

Casa Blanca will be summoned for a hearing before the Commission. If found to have violated the law, the bar’s liquor license could be subject to suspension, modification or revocation.

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