Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Idaho State Police Conduct Alcohol Age Compliance Checks in North Idaho

IDAHO STATE POLICE NEWS RELEASE - generated by our News Release ListServer

Teresa Baker
Public Information Officer
700 S. Stratford Dr., Meridian 83642
(208) 884-7122
Fax (208) 884-7087

For Immediate Release: 5/6/14 at 10:00 a.m.

COEUR d'ALENE - Idaho State Police Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC), conducted alcohol age compliance checks last on Friday and Saturday nights on forty-eight businesses licensed to sell alcoholic beverages in Bonner, Kootenai and Shoshone counties.

Working in plainclothes, ABC detectives and underage youths entered these businesses and attempted to purchase alcoholic beverages. Unfortunately, 29% of the businesses checked failed to comply with the law and sold to a minor under the age of 21. This failure rate is significantly greater than the average failure rate of 10 to 15 percent for age compliance checks in Idaho.

Some of these failures occurred after sales people asked for and received the underage person's identification, which clearly showed the date of birth and the date the underage person is to turn 21 years of age and still sold or served alcohol to the underage person. In other cases identification wasn't asked for.
The breakdown of citations by county is as follows:

Bonner County - Eleven businesses checked; one sale to a minor;
Kootenai County - Twenty-three businesses checked; nine sales to minors;
Shoshone County - Fourteen businesses checked; four sales to minors.

Misdemeanor citations were issued in these cases and they have been referred to the appropriate prosecuting attorney's office.

"Our community should expect businesses licensed to sell alcohol to not sell alcohol to those under 21. We work with our license establishments to prevent alcohol sales to minors and when they fail, Idaho State Police Alcohol Beverage Control holds both the business and the person who sells alcohol to minors accountable," said Idaho State Police Detective Tim Snell.

Additionally, the compliance operation included underage youth requesting an adult to purchase alcohol for them in Coeur d'Alene. Only 4 of the 28 adults that were asked to purchase alcohol for an underage buyer made the purchase. These adults were issued misdemeanor citations for providing alcohol to a minor.

Penalties for a person who sells or furnishes alcohol to underage youth pursuant to Section 23-603, Idaho Code include fines between $500 and $1,000 plus up to one year in jail. The maximum penalties for licensed establishments that sell alcohol to minors are as follows:

1st offense within three years - 10 day license suspension or $1,000.00 fine;
2nd offense within three years - 30 day license suspension or 15 day suspension and $1,500.00 fine;
3rd offense within three years - 180 day license suspension.

Additionally, during the two day operation one person was arrested for possession of heroin and drug paraphernalia and another was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

Idaho State Police Alcohol Beverage Control provides free training to employees on Idaho's alcohol laws including how to recognize fake IDs. For more information on dates and locations for upcoming training sessions, to request one in your area, or for laws pertaining to the sale of alcohol, please visit our website at www.isp.idaho.gov.