From my WORK BLOG…

In listening to CKNW and I heard something about the UVIC Student Society losing their liquor licence today. Doing a search turned up this document, which confirms the report I heard on CKNW. I haven’t read the report on the Liquor Control and Licensing website. Nothing on this appears on the CKNW website, I’ll listen to their next top of the hour news summary to see if they repeat the report.

The following paragraphs summarizes why the situation ended up before the Control Board:

…The branch witnesses included the inspector and an undercover police constable. Each of them made personal observations throughout the night of the party. They were in attendance from approximately 10:45 p.m. through approximately 3:00 a.m. the next day. They described an environment rife with broken bottles and liquor containers scattered throughout the outdoor red lined areas and beyond the facility. They observed more than a hundred persons in line to get in to the facility, many of them intoxicated, boisterous and staggering. Some of the persons in line were consuming liquor while in the line. The inspector and police constable did not see any licensee staff members or security personnel monitoring the line-up. At the entry gate, nobody was checking for identification, containers or bags. A group of five obviously intoxicated patrons, one of them drinking from an open wine bottle, were provided with wristbands and permitted entry…

…Over the course of an hour at the table, they observed a regular pattern of male patrons buying pitchers of beer and drinking directly from the pitchers. The males were not given glasses and did not share the pitchers with other patrons. The witnesses saw at least a dozen such incidents of pitchers of beer being consumed as though single servings…

…One of the females inside Felicitas had as many as 25-30 liquor containers on the table in front of her, and she was seen to awake long enough to take a drink and then pass out again. The outside patron fell to the ground “like a limp dead body” on a couple of occasions and each time was picked up and supported by other patrons. The witnesses observed each of these patrons for a significant period of time, during which no staff or security personnel provided assistance or even approached the patrons…

…Prior to the sounding of the fire alarm, the inspector and the police constable decided to retreat for reasons of their own safety. Bottles and glasses were being thrown, glass was smashing around them and the crowd was getting out of control. The contingent of uniformed police officers were advised by their superior officer to back away due to the danger. The undercover officer believed there was the potential for a riot…

…After the fire alarm, the two witnesses returned to Felicitas and the inspector identified himself. The undercover constable heard a staff member say: “Start passing out these [glasses] to people who are drinking from pitchers because the liquor inspector is here.” …

It’s cases like this that lend to the stereotype that student unions can’t organize events in a responsible manner. It is also curious that the UVSS website and blog does not seem to mention anything about this, outside of references in minutes, that I could find.

UPDATE: NEWS 1130 is reporting on the story as is CFAX 1070

– Steve

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