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Boscola Addresses Musikfest ‘Beer to Go’ Issue
On May 20, 2011 ·
BETHLEHEM (Aug 10) – State Senator Lisa M. Boscola today sent a letter to the Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner, Colonel Frank E. Pawlowski, urging the State Police’s Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement (LCE) to not issue citations to restaurants serving “beer to go‟ at Musikfest until a further review and clarification of the law is completed. Senator Boscola is urging the LCE to solely warn licensees of the possibility of a violation of the law and not openly cite any establishments located in the Bethlehem portion of Northampton County that are being impacted by this issue.
“Beer-to-go‟ has been a common practice of virtually every licensee within the downtown area since the inception of Musikfest,” Boscola said. “Many, if not most, count on that extra revenue every year, especially since Musikfest cuts down on their other business because of the lack of available parking in the city during the festival.”
Senator Boscola’s letter comes in response to local agents of the LCE from Allentown issuing warnings to licensees beginning on Friday evening stating they could not provide beer to go in open containers.
LCE cited a 1994 court case involving Rippers Pub where the licensee was cited by LCE for a violation of Section 406(A) (1) of the Liquor Code for serving patrons by the glass in an open container for consumption off premises.
“What is most concerning to me is the fact that the LCE is using the 1994 case as precedent to issuing citations, yet has failed to do so in the previous 16 years since the adjudication of that case,” Boscola added.
“I feel it is important for LCE and all interested parties to sit down at a future date and discuss this situation thoroughly,” Boscola said. “LCE is taking a hard-line approach to a portion of the law that is unclear and until someone can shed some light on this confusion, no citations should be issued.”
Attached to this release is a copy of the letter sent to the Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner. Please feel free to contact Senator Boscola‟s Bethlehem Office at 610-868-8667.
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