Forum editorial: Bar owners might like a blacklist
Today's issue:Grand Forks bar owners consider blacklisting troublemakers. Our position:If they see a benefit for their businesses, they should go for it. Grand Forks, N.D., bar owners might be on to something with their "blacklist" of troublemakers.
Today's issue:Grand Forks bar owners consider blacklisting troublemakers.
Our position:If they see a benefit for their businesses, they should go for it.
Grand Forks, N.D., bar owners might be on to something with their "blacklist" of troublemakers. If such a competitive business can find common ground in keeping brawlers out of their taverns, there must be a problem.
We haven't heard that Fargo or Moorhead bar owners are contemplating a blacklist of troublemakers, but if police calls and anecdotal evidence are indications, it might be a good idea.
In Grand Forks, several bar owners are contemplating a list that, at first, would be an e-mail network that would identify chronic troublemakers. They would be barred from bars that participate in the listing. At this point, it appears most of the popular watering holes in Grand Forks like the idea.
It makes sense from a business perspective. It's also a sensible approach to law enforcement. After all, it's only a small percentage of patrons that cause the problem. Most of those troublemakers are known to bar owners and often to police. The last thing the bar owner wants is for the convivial atmosphere of the pub to be destroyed by a violent drunk. It's tough enough dealing with an intoxicated patron. It's worse when the drunk is ready to throw a punch.
A blacklist might also prove to be an incentive for troublemakers to mend their ways. For a regular patron of a city's taverns, it's serious business to be banned from all of them. And to those who say troublemakers would merely go out of town to drink, Grand Forks bar owners apparently are saying let 'em go. Whether blacklisted in Grand Forks or going out of town to make trouble, they would not be frequenting the city's bars. Grand Forks bar owners seem to be making the calculation that getting rid of troublemakers is worth losing their business.
It's an intriguing idea for a North Dakota city. It's been done with some success in other places (Las Vegas is the best example), but to our knowledge, never formally in North Dakota.
Drunks and violent drunks are liabilities for bars. If owners can cooperate to maintain the generally festive mood of most pubs by keeping out troublemakers, they should go for it.
Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum management and the newspaper's Editorial Board