Thank goodness for alcohol crackdowns in the Hamptons, or else the Post and Daily News wouldn't have covers today! East Hampton gallery owner Ruth Vered (of the Vered Gallery) is featured on the front pages of both tabloids being hauled away by the police for serving alcoholic drinks without a license on Saturday night.
Vered had been holding a posh reception for the opening of a Steven Klein photography exhibit when police arrived. Newsday reported Vered's reaction: "I told them, 'I served liquor before you were born.' I told them they were not invited and I asked them to leave." She was arrested when she refused to stop serving drinks and led to a squad car--all while people were yelling "Free Ruth!" Vered was also fingerprinted, photographs for a mugshot, and given a desk-apperance ticket.
The State Liquor Authority wants hosts who have receptions that serve alcohol to apply for one-day permits. Police were also bothered by the fact that some guests were consuming alcohol in a public space outside the gallery--and the fact that the party was being held at a commercial space and that it had a few hundred guests. The Hamptons Village police also issued tickets at other parties--a real crackdown!
Vered is concerned about what these draconian rules mean for the joie de vivre on the East End, especially when parties with free-flowing (and free) alcohol are a way of life: "They're sabotaging the life of our small business. Everybody does parties and gives Champagne. It's East Hampton!"