Police: Three Granby-area outlets sell alcohol to underaged buyers
April 21, 2011
GRANBY – During a recent one-night compliance check in the Granby area, employees of four different establishments illegally served alcohol to underaged patrons.
Out of at least 13 businesses in Granby that hold liquor licenses, three liquor stores and a bar failed the compliance check conducted by Granby Police, according to Granby Police Chief Bill Housley. They were: Granby Marketplace Liquors, Spirits N Things, 7-Eleven, and Harry Lemons at SilverCreek.
The bartender and clerks who served the alcohol to individuals involved in the sting are subject to a class one misdemeanor, with a penalty ranging from $500-$5,000 fine and/or 6-18 months in jail. Each of the employees received a summons upon an investigation that took place immediately following the alleged violations, Housley said.
In this particular compliance check, a guy and girl – both underaged – entered every liquor licensed establishment in the Granby area on March 25 and attempted to purchase alcohol. If served, the underaged individuals would walk out of the business (carrying the purchase if it was a liquor store) directly to police waiting outside. If at a bar, the individuals would order alcohol, but then walk out upon being served – without even a sip.
Housley said the individuals were instructed not to beg or try and convince employees if they were denied alcohol after failing to produce identification.
Beyond summonses, “What happens to the person who served is up to the business,” Housley said of those accused of violating the law.
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As far as the business owner, the violation is recorded and any action against the establishment is at the discretion of the liquor licensing authority (town board, in this case), Housley said.
The compliance check was made possible by way of a $39,000 grant to all enforcement agencies in Grand County through the Colorado Liquor Enforcement Division. Part of the money covers compliance checks, which each agency in Grand County plans to conduct annually, Housley said.
Such operations can take place in a single night or over time, said Grand County Sheriff Rod Johnson.
Although the outcomes from past “stings” had zero violations, “This one didn’t come out so good,” Johnson said.
The grant also covers educational activities, equipment purchases, the cost of patrolling underage drinking parties and staffing underage events, such as athletic events and dances.
The current grant cycle is good through the spring of 2012.