Nisswa cops get grant for alcohol compliance checks
NISSWA — The Nisswa Police Department 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 the licensed outlet. If the clerk/server asks for identification and refuses the sale, the outlet passes the compliant check. If the clerk/server completes the sale, the outlet has illegally sold alcohol and fails the check.
It is less expensive and easier to prevent your access to alcohol than to investigate the motor vehicle crashes, fights and other crimes that underage drinking promotes. Communities that have reduced the availability of alcohol to underage drinking have experienced fewer crashes and crimes.
In the 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.
Any seller caught selling to an underage buyer will bar referred to the Crow Wing 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.
Law enforcement is committed to working with retailers to help them abide by the law. Nisswa police pride themselves in being a friendly and pro-active police department.
Penalties for selling to a minor may include fines and license suspensions and may potentially lead to license revocation. A server who sells to someone younger than 21 may be charged with a gross misdemeanor offense.
The Minnesota Institute of Public Health provided the alcohol compliance check funding through the Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws Program of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.