Thursday, September 23, 2010

C.W. to Conduct Underage Compliance Checks

The Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office has been awarded a grant to conduct alcohol compliance checks on all licensed retailers.

In a compliance check, a law enforcement officer works with an underage youth who attempts to purchase alcohol from a bar, restaurant, liquor store, grocery store or other licensed outlet. If the clerk/server asks for identification and refuses the sale, the outlet passes the compliance check. If the clerk/server completes the sale, the outlet has illegally sold alcohol and fails the check.

Sheriff Todd Dahl says, "Our main goal is to get people to check IDs. While most people do a great job in our area, we still have concerns and are simply stepping it up to curb underage drinking.”

In he next few months, officers will conduct the first round of compliance checks. A second round of checks will be conducted after the first of the year.

Sheriff Dahl says any establishment caught selling to an underage buyer will be referred to the City or County Attorney’s Office for criminal prosecution. In addition, the owner of the alcohol license will face civil prosecution. Along with the issuance of an alcohol license comes the responsibility to ensure that all sales are made legally and responsibly.

Penalties for establishments selling to someone under 21 can be charged with a gross misdemeanor offense, which carries a sentence of up to one year in jail and a $3000 fine.

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