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SAIPAN, Northern Mariana Islands (December 28, 2000 - Saipan Tribune/PINA Nius Online)---Saipan's Department of Commerce will strictly monitor the sale of alcoholic beverages on New Year’s Eve, even though the allowed selling time has been extended from the usual 2:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m.

The government will take strict disciplinary action against any establishment that abuses the authorized extended hours, said Commerce Secretary Frankie Villanueva.

The Commerce chief stressed that the extended hours are only for Sunday evening, December 31, 2000 until 4:00 a.m. on Monday, January 1, 2001.

"This authorization does not allow for any further expansion of the extended hours. Any abuse of the extension will not be tolerated."

The Department of Commerce's Alcohol Beverage and Tobacco Control Division earlier this month participated in an expanded government campaign against drunk driving through a series of classes aimed at educating establishments about serving liquor responsibly.

For additional reports from The Saipan Tribune, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Saipan Tribune.

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