ASSEMBLY, No. 3174

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

214th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED SEPTEMBER 16, 2010

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  CRAIG J. COUGHLIN

District 19 (Middlesex)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Regulates teen nights by requiring security provided by police officers, prohibiting persons under age 15 from attending, and disqualifying registered sex offenders from employment.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act regulating teen nights and supplementing chapter 1 of Title 33 of the Revised Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    As used in this act:

     "Criminal history record background check" means a determination of whether a person has a criminal record by cross-referencing that person's name and fingerprints with those on file with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Identification Division and the State Bureau of Identification in the Division of State Police.

     "Department" means the Department of Law and Public Safety.

     "Licensee" means the holder of a Class C License under R.S.33:1-12 who owns or operates an establishment at which a teen night is held.

     "Teen night" means an event which is:

     a.     Advertised or promoted as a non-alcoholic, social gathering for persons under the legal age for purchasing or consuming alcoholic beverages; and

     b.    Held on premises for which a license has been issued under R.S.33:1-12, other than a commercial bowling establishment, which are otherwise primarily devoted to the sale and service of alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption, dancing, or entertainment, and where the total annual gross sales derived from the service of food, if any, are less than the aggregate amount of those derived from the sale and service of alcoholic beverages and from dancing and entertainment.

 

     2.    Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, a teen night shall not be permitted unless the licensee:

     a.     Arranges adequate security, provided by regular or special police officers, who shall be afforded full authority to access all areas of the licensed premises, including, but not limited to the entire interior of any building.  For the purposes of this subsection, adequate security shall mean not less than one regular or special police officer for every 150 attendees;

     b.    Restricts persons over 18 years of age who are not employees from entering the premises and under 15 years of age from entering the premises unless accompanied by a parent or guardian; and

     c.     (1)  Requests, through the department, that the State Bureau of Identification in the Division of State Police conduct a criminal history record background check on each prospective and current employee who will or does work at a teen night.

     (2)   For the purpose of conducting the criminal history record background check, the division shall examine its own files and arrange for a similar examination by federal authorities.  The division shall inform the department whether the person's criminal history record background check reveals a conviction of a disqualifying crime or offense as specified in subsection d. of this act.

     (3)   The division shall conduct a criminal history record background check only upon receipt of the written consent to the check of the prospective or current employee.

     (4)   The licensee or the prospective or current employee shall bear the costs associated with conducting criminal history background checks.  Notwithstanding any law or regulation to the contrary, the department shall not charge a fee for a criminal history record background check that exceeds the actual cost of conducting that check, as determined by the Attorney General.  The Attorney General shall annually certify to the State Treasurer the cost per criminal history background check in the immediately preceding year.

     d.    A person shall be disqualified from serving as an employee at a teen night if that person's criminal history record background check reveals a record of conviction of any of the crimes or offenses requiring the individual to register as a sex offender under "Megan's Law" pursuant to P.L.1994, c.133 (C.2C:7-1 et seq).

 

     3.    a.  Prospective or current employees who will or do work at a teen night shall submit their name, address, fingerprints and written consent to the licensee for the criminal history record background check to be performed.  The licensee shall supply this documentation to the Attorney General, who shall coordinate the background check.

     b.    The Attorney General is authorized to exchange fingerprint data with, and receive criminal history record information for use by licensees from, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Identification Section and the Division of State Police, Bureau of Identification and such other law enforcement agencies and jurisdictions as may be necessary for the purposes of this act.

     c.     The department shall act as a clearinghouse for the collection and dissemination of information obtained as a result of conducting criminal history record background checks pursuant to this act.

 

     4.    The Attorney General, pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), shall adopt rules and regulations to effectuate the purposes of this act concerning access to and dissemination of information obtained as a result of conducting a criminal history record background check.

 

     5.    This act shall take effect immediately.


STATEMENT

 

     This bill establishes regulations for teen nights, which are social events held for individuals under the legal drinking age at establishments, other than bowling alleys, primarily devoted to the sale and service of alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption, dancing, or entertainment.  The bill requires the licensee to arrange for security provided by police officers at a ratio of at least one officer to 150 attendees, and to grant the officers full access to the premises, including all interior areas of buildings. Licensees are also required to prohibit persons: 1) over 18 years of age from attending the events and 2) under 15 years of age from attending the events unless they are accompanied by a parent or guardian.  This bill also requires criminal history background checks of all current and prospective employees who will or do work at a teen night, and prohibits individuals required to register as sex offenders under Megan's Law from serving as an employee at a teen night.