Thursday, March 13, 2014

Clubs get stingier about admitting people who may appear intoxicated

In recent years, most bars and discos (especially smaller establishments), both gay and straight, have become fussier about admitting patrons who appear to be intoxicated or who may have created issues in the past.  Of course, much of this concern has to do with the possible liability for serving alcohol to an intoxicated person.  Sometimes this leads to exclusion of persons who are not drunk.

This happened recently at one place in February, when the doorman said “Not tonight.”  I thought he meant I looked old enough that I didn’t need my ID, but legally he is supposed to see it. “You’ve been drinking somewhere else.”  Well, I had one beer somewhere else at least 90 minutes before.  Blood alcohol should have been about zero.  A typical male clears about one drink per hour through the liver.

This had happened a couple times in 2002 in Minneapolis, at one smaller establishment, the second time a weekeday evening when I had not been anywhere and had nothing at all.  Yet the doorman said I was “stumbling.”  On another occasion, in October 2001 (shortly after 9/11), I was removed from the Gay Nineties club in Minneapolis after walking down the steps to the main floor, still only on the first beer.  It never happened again.  
Of course, it’s possible to imagine other interpretations of such incidents.  Maybe it’s better not to go into a particular place on a particular night.

Back in 2007, when I was still working as a substitute teacher, I saw someone in a bar whom I knew could only be 16 because I had been able to see DOB’s on class rosters.  Police are supposed to have cracked down on fake-id rings, but recent news reports (just today on NBC4 in Washington) indicate that new technology is making them a problem again.  I did tell the establishment at the next visit.

I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a scene like that in the Miramax film “54” in 1998 (about Studio 54) where someone has to be cute enough to get in.  

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