Investigators with the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board have cited five adults for allegedly selling alcohol to minors in Juneau.
Employees at the Breakwater Inn and Goldbelt Hotel in late April sold liquor to a minor working undercover, said investigator Ed Kalwara. The 18-year-old agent was using his own license, which displayed the phrase "Under 21" in large, blue letters as do all licenses issued to minors in Alaska, Kalwara said. In both cases, the employees asked the agent for ID but failed to read it.
"Of the clerks and bartenders that ask for ID, only 50 percent will read it," he said. "They display in large blue letters 'Under 21.' It is so obvious ... there is no math for these folks."
Investigators doing outside surveillance of stores also caught three adults buying alcohol for minors, said Kalwara, noting most Juneau minors seeking alcohol acquire it through adults willing to buy it for them.
Eight Juneau stores refused to sell liquor to the undercover agent, including Kmart, Kenny's Liquor, Liquor Cache, Percy's, Imperial Bar, Douglas Breeze In, Valley Breeze In and Fred Meyer. Earlier last month, the board cited employees at The Liquor Barrel and DeHarts for allegedly selling alcohol to a minor. Three other stores declined to sell to the agent: Fisherman's Bend, Carrs and Duck Creek Market.
The board began undercover compliance checks April 16 and will continue through June 30. The board later this summer tentatively plans to put police posing as employees in liquor stores and bars. It also might launch a follow-the-keg program in which agents watch a person buy a keg, then follow it to see where it goes.
Kathy Dye can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.