At the Select Board meeting

Three of the 5 select board members listen to town counsel talk about BYOB issues.

The Select Board voted on Aug. 21 to continue work on a policy to allow patrons to bring their own beer and wine into Milton restaurants that do not hold a liquor license.

Select Board SecretaryTony Farrington said he was still evaluating whether he wanted to back the concept of bring your own bottle (BYOB) but voted to pursue the study. 

“This is a thorny one,” he said.

Farrington said that while he is “generally not in favor of BYOB,” he was in favor of continuing the discussion.

A draft of the policy calls for allowing businesses that hold common victualler licenses but do not have a liquor license to apply for a BYOB permit. 

Attorney David DeLuca of the town’s law firm of Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane told the board that while restaurants that hold liquor licenses are well regulated under state law, the status of BYOB is not a well developed portion of the law and he has been looking at those adopted in other communities.

Since Milton does not have a policy now, the discretion for BYOB falls to the restaurant owner, DeLuca said, who consulted with the state’s Alcohol Beverage Control Commission.

He said board members need to decide whether this is something they want in Milton, and they could also vote to ban BYOB.

If they go ahead with a policy, they would need to set the exact specifications they would want to see in the measure, DeLuca said.

“It’s like the Wild West without a policy,” said Select Board member Katie Conlon, summing up the current situation. “I think it might be worthwhile to put a policy in place.” 

Select Board Vice Chair Melinda Collins asked her colleagues to consider placing limits on the amount of beer or wine that can be brought in by a patron.

More on this story appears in the Aug, 29 issue of the Milton Times in print and in the e-edition.

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