Police buckle down on alcohol sales to minors

One citation for illegal sales filed from weekend; another citation possible

Posted: Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Juneau police will continue this summer to check to see that businesses aren't selling alcohol to minors, department spokes-man Capt. Tom Porter said Monday.

"We hope we will have a positive effect on reducing the availability of alcohol to young people," Porter said.

One person working as a clerk was cited Saturday, and police are investigating whether to cite a second person after a round of compliance checks, he said.

On Saturday, between 6:40 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., police in cooperation with the Alaska Alcohol Beverage Control Board checked nine businesses for compliance. Minors between 18 and 20 years old attempted to purchase alcohol under the direction of officers.

At several locations, the minor was refused purchase. In some, the identifications they used to attempt purchases were seized. Porter declined to identify the stores checked for compliance Saturday.

One clerk was charged Monday with furnishing alcohol to a minor by a licensee. The misdemeanor could carry a jail sentence of less than one year and a fine of up to $5,000.

"Ideally we would check and check and check and find no violations," Porter said.

But he said the matter is serious enough that further unannounced checks will be held during the summer.

In addition to checking for alcohol-sales compliance, police have responded to reports of underage drinking parties this summer, Porter said.

Early July 11, officers cited 19 minors for consuming alcohol at a Mendenhall Valley party. Four were under 18. A 19-year-old determined to be responsible for the residence also was cited for contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Cindy Cashen, director of the local chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, said she would have liked to have seen perfect compliance on Saturday's checks. But she did find a positive.

"We are delighted that most of the liquor stores who were not in compliance on the last check carded this time," she said. "It's all about education, and it's all about correct education."

Tony Carroll can be reached at tony.carroll@juneauempire.com.

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