Wednesday, May 13, 2009

82% of Central Oregon businesses checked don't sell alcohol to minors

OLCC inspectors and local enforcement officers recently checked businesses in Central Oregon for alcohol sales to minors. The area averaged an 82% compliance rate, which is well above the 2008 statewide average of 78%.

“The most important thing is to prevent sales to minors,” said Jason Evers, Bend Regional Manager. “These numbers show that our licensees are doing a good job of checking IDs and keeping alcohol out of the hands of minors.”
  • Redmond had an 88% compliance rate with 28 out of 32 businesses passing on April 30. The compliance checks were funded by the Enforcement of Underage Drinking Laws Grant Program. The checks were performed by the OLCC, Redmond Police Department and Deschutes County Commission on Children and Families.

  • Bend, Redmond, Sisters had a 78% compliance rate with 31 out of 40 businesses passing on April 24. The checks of Redmond businesses were paid for by the Enforcement of underage Drinking Laws Grant Program. The OLCC, Redmond Police Department and Deschutes County Commission on Children & Families performed the checks on Redmond businesses. Checks in Bend and Sisters were performed by the OLCC.

OLCC performs the minor sales checks in an effort to reduce drinking by minors, which is a serious problem throughout the state. The OLCC tests about 1,800 licensed liquor businesses each year. Licensees or their employees can be held liable for alcohol-related damages and injuries if they serve or sell alcohol to a minor.

Under Oregon law, businesses in cities with a population of 20,000 or more have an equal chance of being randomly selected for a minor decoy compliance check. A business can also be selected for a compliance check if there is a documented complaint of sales to minors. Businesses in cities with a population under 20,000 and unincorporated areas in counties are not subject to these selection requirements.

The OLCC offers a free training course on how to check ID’s. Participants learn how to identify false identification and the laws regarding minors and alcohol. Additional training opportunities are available including classes for store clerks and service permit holders. Interested persons can call their local OLCC office to schedule a training session.

During the sales checks, a minor volunteer attempts to purchase alcohol from a licensed business to see if staff are checking ID’s correctly and refusing to sell alcohol to anyone under 21. Commission inspectors or other law enforcement officers supervise the minor volunteers. Volunteers carry their own legal ID and do not disguise their age or lie to encourage the sale of alcohol.

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