F&B outlet Darts Buddy in Lavender fined $5k after customers consume alcohol past 10.30pm

People went in and out of the Darts Buddy outlet at 28 Beatty Road through the back door on Jan 29, 2021. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - It was past 10.30pm and the shutters had been rolled down, but the drinks were still flowing inside the bar.

People went in and out of Darts Buddy in Lavender through the back door on Jan 29, and at least 35 patrons were still consuming alcohol 10 minutes after 10.30pm.

Several glasses containing alcohol were found on the tables, and at least two beer towers were still half-full.

On Friday (Dec 10), Darts Buddy, known for its pizza, bistro and sports bars, was fined $5,000 for breaching Covid-19 rules and allowing customers to consume liquor after 10.30pm.

One other charge of allowing customers to play with poker cards on Sept 17 was taken into consideration for sentencing.

The court heard that at about 10.40pm on Jan 29, the police and safe distancing enforcement officers noticed that the outlet at 28 Beatty Road had its shutters down but patrons were coming and going from the rear door.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Kenneth Kee urged the court for a fine of at least $4,500 to $5,000.

He said that the "concerted attempt to avoid detection from the authorities" and the sizeable crowd of more than 30 people were aggravating factors.

Darts Buddy was represented by lawyer Dhanwant Singh, who said that he was instructed that the shutters were rolled down to prevent more patrons from entering after 10.30pm.

The establishment was allowed to operate till midnight to serve food.

However, DPP Kee pointed out that patrons were still allowed to enter from the rear door.

At least 35 patrons were still consuming alcohol 10 minutes after 10.30pm at the Darts Buddy outlet at 28 Beatty Road on Jan 29, 2021. PHOTO: SINGAPORE LAND AUTHORITY

District Judge Lorraine Ho said that general deterrence was the primary sentencing consideration for such offences.

The judge noted that it was Darts Buddy's first offence but pointed out that the offence of allowing customers to play poker occurred after the establishment had been charged in court.

For contravening a control order under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act 2020, Darts Buddy could have been fined up to $10,000.

Correction note: An earlier version of this story reported that District Judge Lorraine Ho said general deterrence should be the primary sentencing framework. This has been corrected. We are sorry for the error.

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