Police Target Underage Drinking 

by | Aug 3, 2023

Photo credit: Sam Ross/theradioscout.com

Police went to two Main Street bars – LowKey and Kai Bar – Wednesday, July 26 (and early Thursday morning), for bar checks, making one arrest of a 19-year-old Warwick resident at LowKey for using a fake ID. At Kai Bar, police cited the bartender for allowing minors to congregate in the bar’s vicinity. Police also cited the bartender for serving alcohol to people under age 21 but did not cite any underage individuals for having alcohol on the premises. 

According to a police report, two officers checked IDs at a table in LowKey with three people who appeared to be underage. The table had two drinks on it. All three offered IDs that showed they were over 21, but when police had dispatch check the IDs, one of them came back as fake. Dispatch found a Rhode Island license for the Warwick woman showing her age to be 19. The woman told police she knew it was fake but that she had not been drinking at LowKey. She did not appear to be impaired, according to the report. She was charged with possessing a fake ID and given a court summons. 

The bouncer at LowKey gave police five fake IDs he had confiscated that evening and one other he’d taken the night before.

At Kai Bar, two officers entered and noticed a large group in the rear section move to leave by a side door. Officers were eventually able to track down four 20-year-olds on King Street at Water Street who at first denied being at Kai Bar but then said they had been there. They did not admit to drinking there and they did not appear to be impaired so police released them. Police returned to Kai Bar and gave the bartender a municipal court summons.

Representatives from both bars spoke to the challenge of underage patrons. 

LowKey has contracted security firms and employees that inspect IDs at the door,” said owner Zach Flanders. “The bartenders also card at the bar. Today’s counterfeit IDs pose a difficult problem because there is an internet industry that spends a lot of time and money making them look real. We take this issue very seriously.”

“We respect and understand the issue with underage drinking in this town and are looking to continue to be part of the solution, not the problem as we have policies in place to help curb this issue,” said Jason Kindness of Kai Bar. “We have confiscated 71 fake IDs since February and continue to educate our staff and do everything possible to help keep everyone safe.”

Regarding the incident last Wednesday, Kindness said, “We have clear video evidence that contradicts the charges involving negligence with regards to underage drinking on our premises.”

He said the bartender that night could be seen checking IDs. “We understand the difficulty associated with the job of East Greenwich Police Department and are working with them to review video footage from the evening in question.”

This article was amended 9:55 a.m. Aug. 4, 2023.

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