Providence, R.I., Cracks Down on VIP Service in Bars, Restaurants, Night Clubs

Providence officials are cracking down on VIP service at city nightspots and dance clubs because they say it violates state liquor laws and encourages underage drinking.

Some nightspots allow customers who pay several hundred dollars for a bottle of liquor to skip entrance lines and pour their own drinks instead of waiting at the bar.

At the urging of police, the city's Board of Licenses recently sent letters to 252 nightclubs, bars and restaurants warning them against the practice.

State law bans nightspots from serving bottles of distilled spirits at customers' tables and forbids patrons from pouring their own drinks.

Providence Detective John St. Lawrence says the unattended bottles attract underage drinkers and encourage drunkenness.