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Harvard students who want kegs delivered to their rooms will have to update their address books. Blanchard's Liquors of Allston, an establishment popular among area college students, is no longer in the keg delivery business.
Robert L. McVicker, a manager at Blanchard's, said the change is in response to an October incident in which Blanchard's was investigated for delivering a keg to a minor.
"Ever since that [student] at MIT used a fake ID to get a keg, we've had to stop delivering," he said.
But even students who want to pick up kegs at the store will have extra trouble if they're not Massachusetts residents, as starting this week, Blanchard's will no longer accept out of state identification.
"The only forms of ID that we can accept from anyone trying to buy [alcohol] are Mass. IDs and U.S. passports," McVicker said.
"We now operate under the assumption that anyone coming in [to get a keg] is lying to us," he said.
McVicker emphasized that these policy changes were internal decisions but that they came after a great deal of pressure from the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission (ABCC).
"The state is targeting kegs, specifically," McVicker said. "The impression is that kegs are cheap and easily accessible to minors."
During the investigation by the ABCC, Blanchard's temporarily stopped providing kegs to anyone. However, on Nov. 3, the delivery policy was announced.
"The problem was mostly in deliveries. We don't feel we can trust people who want to have kegs delivered," McVicker said.
Blanchard's declined to reveal how much of their business came from Harvard students but McVicker did say that "a large part of keg deliveries" were to Harvard University.
The decision to stop delivering kegs "certainly will impact our business," McVicker said. "But we have to do this.... We no longer can assume we are dealing with people with any integrity."
Other liquor establishments popular among Harvard undergraduates expressed similar concerns. Martignetti's Liquors never delivered kegs because managers said they believe the liability is too great.
"It's too risky to deliver...especially after that death at MIT," said Edward W. St. Pierre, a manager at Martignetti's, referring to the alcohol-related death of MIT-first-year Scott Krueger last fall.
Dean of Students Archie C. Epps III said he approved of Blanchard's decision.
"I applaud any effort to reduce irresponsible drinking," he said. Epps also said he believed this will reduce underage drinking, although he expressed concern that other businesses still "are quite willing to deliver" to college campuses.
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