By Carla Allen
THE COAST GUARD
A concern about liability in connection with alcohol consumption at the Barrington arena has the Municipality of Barrington scrambling to find a solution to the problem.
The municipality and the local RCMP detachment are wrestling with privacy laws that are inadvertently protecting illegal drinking in arena dressing rooms.
Last year a Shelburne County resident was fined $100 for taking beer into the changing area during the Causeway benefit tournament.
Arena staff has been instructed to call the RCMP if non-compliance is observed.
Sgt. Bob Forbes says he has been contacted by arena management requesting RCMP attendance at hockey games and that he has
discussed the matter with other commanders. “Ultimately if the arena has a policy against consuming alcohol in the dressing room then that is illegal, however the room is rented out by the hockey team therefore it is private and we don’t have access to it,” he said.
A search warrant requires six to eight hours to obtain. Forbes is also concerned about officer safety issue and says he will not send an officer in alone with 15 guys drinking beer. “There’s nothing eliminating the municipality from hiring private security,” he said. “Ultimately, you may want to have a look at that as well because that would give you presence during the tournament.”
Darryl J. Wilson, a commercial account manager with Alfred J. Bell & Grant Ltd, insurance agents for the Municipality of Barrington, informed the municipality that “it is quite easy to prove that drinking has taken place in a dressing room and that if one of the intoxicated individuals were to cause catastrophic injuires to another member of the community, it would not take long for plantiff lawyers to be able to find witnesses to attest to the fact that drinking was taking place in the district’s arena dressing rooms over a long period of time and the district either knew or ought to have known that this was the case”.
Warden Louise Halliday voiced the concerns of council about the liability issue. “We want to be proactive and do all that we can do because we could be sued, and when I say we, that means the entire municipality and taxpayer’s dollars are going to be paid for someone who was not acting responsible.”
Private security suggested for Barrington arena
By Carla Allen
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