January 4, 2008
OLYMPIA - The Washington State Liquor Control Board regularly conducts compliance checks of area businesses licensed to sell alcohol on and off premises. With the assistance of minor operatives, 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 and sports/entertainment facilities. Compliance checks have been shown to be an effective tool to reduce the sale of alcohol to minors.
During December 2007, Liquor Enforcement Officers in the Southwest Region conducted 98 liquor compliance checks at businesses in the 13 counties of Southwest Washington. Of those businesses, 8 sold liquor 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 with which a business has been cited. Persons who sell alcohol to individuals under 21 years of age can receive a misdemeanor criminal citation as well.
The minor operatives 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.