The Case Of The Missing Law Enforcement Referral

Madison police wrote up Donahue's for a possible violation of state statutes relating to a June 2011 drunk driving arrest of a local teen. Police say the report was sent to the state Liquor Control Division. The state says it has no record of receiving it


The Madison police have written up Donahue's Madison Beach Grille in connection with a June 2011 drunk driving arrest of a teenager, who said he and his friends had been drinking at Donahue's.

Madison police say the case has been referred to the state Liquor Control Division. A spokeswoman for the state Liquor Control Division said this week that the division does not have that report on record. Madison police say they do not plan to resubmit it.

The undated law enforcement referral report from the Madison police refers to an . The arrest report, dated June 18, 2011, says the teenager, then 19 years old, was pulled over in his car at the intersection of Duck Hole Road and the Hammonasset Connector at 9:13 p.m. after being seen by a police officer swerving and failing to use a a turn signal.

The teenager failed field sobriety tests, admitted to the arresting officer that he was drunk, and said three times that "he and his friends" had been drinking at Donahue's Madison Beach Grille, the report says. The teenager completed two breath tests, both of which showed results of 0.19, the police report says.

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0.19 not on the chart

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that, at 0.15, predictable effects on driving can include loss of muscle control, vomiting, and "substantial impairment in vehicle control, attention to driving task, and in necessary visual and auditory information processing." The blood alcohol concentration of 0.19 is not on the chart.

"A breath alcohol test determines how much alcohol is in your blood by measuring the amount of alcohol in the air you breathe out (exhale)," according to the National Institutes of Health's MedlinePlus.

"When the amount of alcohol in the blood reaches 0.02 - 0.03%, you may feel a relaxing 'high.' When that percentage reaches 0.05 - 0.10%, you have reduced muscular coordination, a longer reaction time, and impaired judgment."

Parents tell police they are upset

Madison police met with the parents of the teenager, who "expressed that they were very upset that their son and son's friends were able to get served at Donahue's." Police then met with Chris Donahue, who was the manager at the time that the 19-year-old and his two friends "had been served."

"Donahue advised that he remembered seeing persons who matched [the teenagers'] description. Donahue advised that he did not have an employee at the entrance to the restaurant/bar checking identifications. Donahue advised that he would hire someone for this responsibility Wednesday nights. Donahue explained that he does have an employee performing this function Thursday through Sunday," the report says.

The police report says that on June 18th the referral to the state of Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection Liquor Control Division would be submitted for three counts of "permitting minor to possess alcoholic liquor."

No record of the report at the Liquor Control Division

Claudette Carveth, director of the Office of Communication and Education at the state Department of Consumer Protection, who handles information request to the Liquor Control Division, said earlier this month that the Liquor Control Division had no record of receiving a complaint about Donahue's from the Madison police in the past year. She checked earlier this month, and again this week.

"Regarding Donahue, it has an active permit, and there are no current complaints for this premises," Carveth said. There were two records from 2010 in the system, and on the online database, relating to Donahue's, that had been resolved. "Those two [records] from 2010 are the only [records] we have in our system about Donahue’s in Madison.  I checked with the Division Director."

The 2010 records included a report from March 10, 2010 relating to overcrowding and a fight on the premises, Carveth said.

Two earlier cases closed

"Agents visited the premises on June 5, 2010 and spoke with the owner. He recalled that it was sometimes crowded when the premises was first opened in February 2010, but at the time observed, he had a doorman to keep track of numbers of patrons inside. He did not recall a fight on the premises. No violations were observed. Case closed," Carveth said.

The second record relating to Donahue's was a "routine alcohol compliance check by DCP on June 7, 2010, as part of its ongoing statewide enforcement; no violations observed. Case closed."

Madison police, when asked about the law enforcement referral relating to the June 2011 arrest of the teenager, have said several times that it was forwarded to the state Liquor Control Division, but they said they did not know the exact date it was sent. Madison Police Captain Jon Pardo and Madison Police Chief Jack Drumm said Wednesday the department has no plans to resubmit the referral.

Myra L. April 26, 2012 at 01:27 AM
Must be a slow news day. What is the purpose of this article?
Charles April 26, 2012 at 09:19 AM
Mary H. Lamb June 30, 2012 at 06:35 PM
Could this be a local watering hole for any local high ranking police personnel? Seems like some may have been seen frequenting the place on more than one occasion as customers. Then those in charge at MPD won't either simply resubmit the liquor referral or at least conduct an independent unbiased Internal Affairs investigation to see who may be responsible for violating department rules and regulations. Couldn't there also be potential criminal conduct regarding record handling laws? Must be pretty high up the food chain to just make the whole thing go away with no investigation or action taken. It's not what u know, it is who u know that apparently counts.
Simon October 05, 2012 at 06:58 AM
Who are the parents angry at? Is it the law enforcement who were doing their job, or the place that sold them the alcohol? Whatever it is, at least the police officers were able to arrest the teens before they got into even more trouble because of their drink driving. - http://www.starrausten.com
Jimmy (JJ) Johnston October 05, 2012 at 11:08 AM
Appears that the parents accept the fact that their kids are taking responsibility for their actions and merely want the restaurant who also broke the law to be responsible for their actions too. When state licensed liquor establishments make it easy for minors to purchase alcoholic drinks with police taking no action, people get hurt. Not an unreasonable request. Appears that the road cops did a good job until Madison Police administrators apparently got involved and dropped the ball, creating a cloud of suspicion about the reasons, Why? Surprised that M.A.D.D. or other groups didn't get involved demanding answers from an outside independent investigation. M.A.D.D. # 317 Foxon Road, East Haven, CT 06513 Phone: 203.764.2566, Fax: 203.764.2573, Email: ct.state@madd.org


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