British Columbia

Underage drinking turns off UBC pub taps

A popular pub at the University of British Columbia won't be serving beer to anyone for a while, after staff served an underage woman who was seriously injured when she fell from the roof.

A popular pub at the University of British Columbia won't be serving beer to anyone for a while, after staff served an underage woman who was seriously injured when she fell from the roof.

University administrators have ordered Koerner's Pub to stop serving all alcohol until further notice, citing the number of times the pub had been warned to stop serving underage patrons and RCMP allegations it has over-served others.

The pub is operated by the Graduate Student Society in the basement of the Graduate Student Centre, but the university administration controls the liquor licence.

UBC vice-president Brian Sullivan told CBC News the society has been warned repeatedly in recent years to stop serving underage customers. A letter from a UBC lawyer posted on the internet detailed several recent incidents.

On March 6, the student who fell from the roof had been drinking with three other underage friends at the pub. After the fall, two were arrested after they became belligerent with the RCMP and were charged with public drunkenness.

The injured woman was taken to hospital, where she required surgery.

On March 12, an intoxicated patron was arrested for public drunkenness after he interfered with RCMP ID checks, and the pub was blamed for over-serving the patron.

Warned before

The society was also warned about underage drinking twice before, in 2008 and 2009.

"The university is no longer confident the GSS can operate the pub in manner that observes liquor laws and promotes responsible drinking," said a letter signed by Hubert Lai, the university's legal counsel.

A Facebook site dedicated to saving Koerner's has more than 470 members, but the people behind the site have been unavailable for comment. 

Sullivan said it will be up to the society to prove it can stop serving alcohol to underage students before it can once again switch on the beer taps, but he expects the pub will to be alcohol-free at least until the end of spring exams.

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