January 11, 2008
EVERETT - The Washington State Liquor Control Board regularly conducts compliance checks of area businesses licensed to sell alcohol and tobacco. With the assistance of investigative aides, liquor enforcement officers conduct the compliance checks. Businesses subject to compliance checks include spirits, beer and wine restaurants, large grocery chains, neighborhood markets, taverns, wine bars, smoke shops, and sports/entertainment facilities. Compliance checks have been shown to be an effective tool to reduce the sale of alcohol and tobacco to underage people.
During November and December 2007, liquor enforcement officers in the Northwest Enforcement Region conducted 57 liquor compliance checks at businesses in the six Northwest region counties. Of those businesses, eight sold liquor to an investigative aide who is under 21 years of age. In the same period, officers conducted 81 tobacco compliance checks. Of those businesses, seven sold tobacco to a minor.
Liquor enforcement officers are empowered to issue Administrative Violation Notices to businesses that fail compliance checks. Fines or temporary license suspensions can be issued, depending on the severity of the infraction or the frequency that a business has been cited. People who sell alcohol to individuals less than 21 years of age can also receive a misdemeanor criminal citation.
The investigative aides that assist with the compliance checks are 17 to 20 years old. They must present their true identification if asked by a clerk. However, they may attempt to be evasive if asked their age but not asked for their I.D.
If you believe a business in your community is selling alcohol or tobacco to minors, please call 1-888-838-3956 to report violators.