Police say 88 underage drinkers at New London bar

New London

NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) — Octane may be a popular bar with the younger crowd, but police say many of the patrons weren’t just younger, they were underage.

New London Police, assisted by State of Connecticut Liquor Control personnel, is conducting spot checks of bars and cafes throughout the city in an effort to combat underage drinking.

Police say on Thursday the Octane Cafe was over capacity and most of the more than 150 patrons were underage.

“This is just out of control at this point,” said Police Chief Peter Reichard.

He says officers documented 88 underage people at the downtown New London bar. Numerous fake ID’s were found on underage college students and on the floor in the bar and on the outside patio.

“Every Thursday they have a thing called college night that have a bunch of college kids come down,” said Chris Corbitt who lives in the downtown area.

He says college night brings in the masses, but says underage kids can be found at other watering holes as well.

Tyler Calvetta provides security at a few of the downtown bars. He says most bars need to update their technology to spot fake ID’s.

“It’s a mixture 50 percent carelessness and it’s 50 percent the system, you know what I mean, like their electronic system,” says Calvetta.

“We all know the deleterious effects of alcohol on the growing mind. There’s no doubt that it’s a problem,” said Dr. Ramindra Walia. He is the Chief Medical Officer at UCFS’s Behavioral Health Office in Norwich.

Dr. Walia says alcolol use at a young age can actually cause the brain to grow smaller and eventually effect intellect.

“Could lead to alcoholism,” said Dr. Walia. “It could lead to other illicit drugs. It could lead to sexual assault.”

“Some people think I’ll let the underage kids in, make a quick buck,” said Chief Reichard. “But they’re jeopardizing everybody’s safety by doing that because a lot of times the underage kids can’t control themselves when they’re intoxicated.”

The bar was found to be in violation of numerous liquor establishment laws.

The commission will further investigate and follow up with potential fines, license suspensions, and other administrative sanctions.

The police department and commission will continue to conduct random spot checks of the city’s establishments throughout the holiday season and year.

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