A judge in Nova Scotia has raised an interesting point regarding violence in drinking establishments, but banning glasses and glass bottles is a cumbersome prospect.
The suggestion came during the trial Tuesday of a young woman given a conditional sentence for hitting another woman last February with a liquor glass during a night of tippling in a Bridgewater tavern.
Judge Gregory Lenehan made reference to serious outcomes in barroom brawls when a glass or bottle in someone’s hand winds up as an impromptu weapon and gets smashed into a victim’s face. He suggested a ban on glass and switch to plastic glasses would help avoid serious injuries to the face.
While the judge says such attacks occur far too often, Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, the department responsible for licensing bars, responds that it hasn’t seen an increase in such assaults.
Department spokeswoman Susan Tait added that the only complaint on record is this incident in Bridgewater and that, since it’s rare, the province doesn’t want to burden businesses with unnecessary restrictions.
That’s the sensible answer. Still, while we’re on the topic, why not look at rowdy behaviour in bars – a place where most go for a pleasant time but which can be disrupted by the occasional troublemaker.
Not long ago a number of bars in downtown Halifax banded together for a system to deal with those who descend into mayhem. Banning them from one bar, owners knew, would just send the bad apples elsewhere to be someone else’s problem.
The solution they came up with was to identify these and share the information, thus making them pariahs at all the city’s watering holes.
It’s an idea that would be worth trying in other communities with a network of licensed establishments.
It might not be a simple task to pull off, granted, but bar employees are trained to handle some dicey situations. Spotting the troublemakers before they make trouble would be in their better interests.