Late on the evening of Friday, Oct. 4, Radnor police responded to a call concerning the underage patrons at a local bar in Garrett Hill. The owners of Flip and Bailey’s called because they were suspicious of the age of the crowd at their establishment. They were also worried that should these suspicions be proved correct, the underage patrons were able to fool their safeguards to discourage underage drinking, such as their ID scanner.
Upon arrival, the Radnor Police Force blocked the exits of the bar in order to verify the age of each individual and ensure there was no illegal activity. They carried portable breathalyzers to detect intoxication levels of patrons if their IDs proved that they were under 21 years of age. The laws involving underage drinking in Pennsylvania require a blood alcohol level of 0.02% to be charged with a DUI as a minor, compared to a level of 0.08% for those legally allowed to drink.
With the arrival of the police, panic filled the air as many feared they would face consequences. According to Fox 29 Philadelphia, Radnor Police Superintendent Chris Flanagan said, “Some IDs were dropped on the floor. Other people either dropped or hid them when we came, flushed them down the toilet.” There were 15 officers at the scene aiding in the raid of Flip and Bailey’s Bar, Fox 29 also reported. This was because of the sheer number of people at the bar that night.
“We had approximately 300 people inside the bar, and out of them, approximately 254 citations are being written right now,” Flanagan told Fox 29 News. The citations are for carrying a false ID as well as underage drinking; those cited were anywhere from 18-20 years old. Some were issued a citation for both offenses, and the fines could total up to $500, but will ultimately be decided by the district justice, David Lang according to Fox 29 and Main Line Times.
“Flanagan says he hopes this sends a message that underage drinking will not be tolerated in Radnor Township and surrounding communities, and he also points out that there is more to this investigation, although he is unable to disclose the details at this time,” Dawn Timmeney of Fox 29 reports.
Although those who were at Flip and Bailey’s when the raid occurred were not asked where they attend school, “The Main Line Times” claims that the bar is popular with Villanova students. According to “The Times,” some members of the Board of Commissioners believe that if the majority of the patrons cited were Villanova students, then the university should foot some of the bill caused by this incident through a “payment in lieu of taxes” (PILOT) plan, which other schools in the area have set up. Other members believed it is difficult to hold the university responsible for the off-campus actions of its students, but others argue is that opening a dialogue with the university about offsetting expenses for police and fire departments would be a good route.