Alcohol Compliance Checks Impact Underage Drinking
The Richland County Sheriff’s Office, Sidney City Police Department, and the Fairview Police Department would like to thank all establishments that passed the recent alcohol compliance checks. The goal of the checks is to prevent youth access to alcohol and ensure all retailers are following alcohol sales and services laws to prevent illegal sales. Establishments who passed included: Club Royale Casino, Reese & Ray’s IGA, Lucky Lil’s, Miller’s Corner, Montana Lil’s, South 40 and the Winner’s Pub.
During compliance checks, undercover agents under the age 21 are sent into local establishments in an attempt to purchase alcohol. When asked, the agents do produce their IDs and are prohibited from misleading or lying to the clerk or server. All transactions are monitored by law enforcement.
Compliance checks have been conducted in Richland County for more than 10 years in conjunction with Responsible Alcohol Sales and Service Training (RASS). The training and compliance checks have resulted in fewer illegal sales to persons under the age of 21.
Compliance checks are conducted randomly with not all area businesses being checked each time. Recent results revealed a 54 % compliance rate for Richland County retailers or 7 of 13 establishments visited passed the checks. Enforcement action was taken in the 6 cases of non-compliance, regarding the sale of alcoholic beverages to persons under the age of 21 years in violation of Montana Code 16-6-305 (1) (a).
Sheriff Brad Baisch stated “that this is the lowest the compliance rates have been in the past five years and we encourage alcohol retailers and their employees to make sure IDs are being checked with every age restricted transaction and not to assume because they hand you an ID that they are of legal age, you must do the math”. Police Chief Frank DiFonzo also added “that once again we want to thank the area retailers who passed the checks but also want to remind all retailers the crucial role they play in preventing underage drinking and youth access to alcohol”.
For training on responsible alcohol sales and service please contact District II Alcohol & Drug Program at 433-4097.