Grand County police agencies will conduct alcohol compliance checks in April | SkyHiNews.com

Grand County police agencies will conduct alcohol compliance checks in April

Will Bublitz
Sky-Hi Daily News

Grand County’s bars, restaurants, liquor stores and other businesses that sell or serve alcohol need to be careful because local law enforcement officers will be conducting underage alcohol compliance checks in April.

The compliance checks were announced in a press release from Grand County Sheriff Rod Johnson on Monday. He stated the checks would be done “sometime prior to the end of April 2008.”

The underage alcohol compliance checks will be performed by the Grand County Sheriff’s Office, Fraser-Winter Park Police Department, Granby Police Department and Kremmling Police Department.

During the checks, Johnson stated, “authorized underage individuals” will be entering and will attempt to buy alcohol in businesses across the county that are licensed to serve or sell alcohol.

“Businesses and employees caught selling or serving an alcoholic beverage to these individuals will be issued a summons,” Johnson said. “They will be referred to the Grand County District Attorney’s Office for criminal prosecution.”

During the county’s last compliance checks on Dec. 1, 2007, seven court summons were issued to businesses and employees who sold to underaged buyers.

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Under Colorado law, the selling of an alcoholic beverage to an underage person is a Class 2 misdemeanor. It is punishable by up to a $1,000 fine and/or 12 months imprisonment.

As in the past, these latest county-wide compliance checks will be conducted with the cooperation of Grand Futures Prevention Coalition, a nonprofit organization that deals with youth substance abuse issues in Grand, Moffat and Routt counties.

To conduct the compliance checks, Grand Futures will be supplying volunteers under the age of 21 who will attempt to purchase or be served alcohol. These underage volunteers will be working as a team with law enforcement officers who will be in plain clothes.

After entering a business, if the underage individual who is seeking to purchase alcohol is asked for their date of birth or age by the business owner or server, they will be provided with accurate information. No false IDs will be used.

If they are denied the purchase, the underage person will then leave the business. While the attempted purchase takes place, a plainclothes officer will be nearby observing.

Those employees caught serving or selling alcohol will be charged and face court action. Also, those businesses involved in the sale to an underage person may face repercussions, such as when their liquor licenses come up for renewal.

To avoid making the mistake of breaking this state law, local businesses can obtain training for their employees on proper procedures for determining and handling underage persons through the TIPS program offered by the Grand Futures office in Granby.

Funding for the April compliance checks in Grand County has been awarded to all of the local law enforcement agencies from the state of Colorado. The money is in the form of a grant from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention through the Colorado Department of Revenue’s Liquor Enforcement Division.

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