PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (AP) – If you get thrown out of one bar in Portsmouth, you might find yourself banned from more than a dozen others for up to a year.

Police and 15 downtown bar and restaurant owners began a program Wednesday aimed at cracking down on bar-hopping trouble makers.

Lt. Corey McDonald says bar owners often have to deal with problem-causing drinkers who get kicked out of one bar and go to another.

“If you act up in one establishment, you’re going to barred from all 15,” McDonald said. “It’s an attempt to think outside the box and make our downtown more safe … some people may complain about it, but they’re going to be the ones causing most of the problems.”

Owners will call police if they think someone who is bounced from their bar could cause problems at others. Officers will oversee a process where the bounced person and owner sign a trespass notice banning that person from 15 city establishments for up to a year.

A copy of the form will be distributed to each of the member bars. If the person violates the order, he or she would be charged with trespassing.

McDonald said the program came after a year of meetings among members of the Downtown Hospitality Association, who have been looking for ways to improve the quality of patrons’ experience at bars and restaurants.

Andrew Corbin, owner of Molly Malone’s, one of the participating establishments, said the program is an extension of “the list” a roster of rowdy bargoers who have been known to cause trouble at multiple downtown spots.

He said not everybody who is asked to leave a bar would necessarily be banned from all 15 bars only those who are consistently and dangerously out of control.

Participating restaurants and bars are: Fat Belly’s, Poco’s Bow Street Cantina, Harpoon Willy’s, TJ’s, Muddy River Smokehouse, Molly Malone’s, The Ferry Landing, Rudi’s, State Street Saloon, The Page, the Portsmouth Brewery, The Red Door, The Dolphin Striker, The Oar House, and Two Ceres Street.

Information from: Foster’s Daily Democrat, http://www.fosters.com

AP-ES-09-18-08 1225EDT

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