Halifax bars to crack down on rowdy drunks
Halifax bar and restaurant owners are going to try to cut down on the number of obnoxious drunks by introducing a program that could see patrons turfed out for good.
Under the pilot program that will start in November, if someone is kicked out of one downtown bar for rowdy behaviour, they will be barred from at least 20 other drinking establishments in the downtown core.
They're calling it the Pass Program.
"If you're barred from the [Economy] Shoe Shop and you're barred from the Argyle Bar and Grill, well, you know what, you're not going to be allowed into Durty Nelly's or any other similar establishment," Joe McGuiness, owner of Durty Nelly's said Tuesday.
Gordon Stewart, of the Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia, said the ban could last for six months, one year or indefinitely.
"So if you were caught with a fake ID that would be a six-month violation and, by the way, that wouldn't start until you became legal [drinking] age," he said.
The problem, these bar owners say, is younger drinkers.
"Invariably they're coming away to college, we're known as a college destination, and a lot of these individuals have freedom, they're getting away from home," McGuiness said.
"Unfortunately, they're finding themselves in a situation where they're free to do what they want to do, when they want to do it."
Bar staff will share a list of names of people who have been kicked out in the past. The owners said they won't catch all of the offenders, but they will catch a few.
Being part of this program will not cost bar owners any money, all they have to do is keep track of the people who have been barred, and share the information.
They will spend money, though, on special scanners that can detect a fake ID from anywhere in the country.
Wendy Friedman, of Biscuit General Store on Argyle Street, said the real problem is that some bars over serve their patrons.
"I have a lot of neighbours who are very responsible bar and restaurant owners who would not over serve clients," she said. "But I also have certain neighbours who will definitely serve people who are stumbling blind [drunk]."
Business owners in the downtown bar district have complained about young people vomiting and urinating in public after drinking too much.