Alcohol Compliance Checks and RASS Training
October 31, 2018
Recently Alcohol Compliance checks were done in Blaine County by the DUI Task Force. In total 14 business were checked. The business’ that passed the compliance check were: Turner General Store, Kennedy’s Bar in Harlem, EZ Mark Casino in Harlem, Finley’s Food Farm in Chinook, Lucky Lil’s Casino in Chinook and the Chinook Motor Inn. Business’ that sold alcohol to the underage buyer were: 241 Bar in Turner, Albertson’s Grocery Store in Harlem, EZ Mart in Harlem, Town Pump in Chinook, Aero Bar in Chinook, Mint Bar in Chinook, Eagle’s in Chinook and the State Liquor Store in Chinook.
The success rate for this compliance check was 74 percent which is higher than last year’s which was 60 percent.
The individuals that sold alcohol to the underage buyer were issued a citation for selling an alcoholic beverage to a person less than 21 years of age. Penalties for a seller or server for sales to an underage person are: First offense up to a $500 fine and/or up to 6 months in jail and second offense is up to a $1000 fine and/or up to 6 months in jail. They also could lose their job for violating the law.
Administratively a copy of the ticket and a report is then given to the Department of Revenue who will then contact the owner of the business/liquor license to impose a monetary fine and/or suspend or revoke their liquor license. Administrative violations for licensees operate on a rule of four strikes within three years. Administrative penalties are: First offense $250 fine, second offense $1000 fine, third offense $1500 fine and up to a 20 day suspension and fourth offense their license is revoked.
Letters were sent to all business’ advising the owner/manager if they passed or failed the compliance check. Those business’ that pass can give their employees name who did not sell the alcohol, to the DUI Task Force and their name is put into a drawing for a gift card.
Alcohol compliance checks may be one of the most effective methods for enforcing alcohol sales to persons under age 21.
This takes us to Responsible Alcohol Sales and Service (RASS) training. Members of the Blaine County DUI Task Force believe that RASS and Compliance checks go hand in hand to reduce youth access to alcohol. In 2011 a law was put into place that requires all employees who serve or sell alcohol, their immediate supervisor, as well as the licensee if they serve or sell receive RASS training within 60 days of hire and every three years after.
In Blaine County there are three members of the DUI Task Force who are RASS trainers, Chris Adair, Debbie Gomke and Elmer Zarn. You can contact Chris or Debbie at the Blaine County Sheriff’s Department, (357-3260), if you need RASS training or Elmer at the Chinook Police Department, (357-3170).
RASS training teaches guidelines for checking IDs as well as whether or not the ID is valid, the different types of IDs and also guidelines for preventing adults from purchasing alcohol for underage people.
Compliance checks reinforce the information taught in RASS class and help ensure that sellers are carding those purchasing alcohol. They also encourage businesses to police themselves.
It is well known that alcohol use among youth causes many emotional and behavioral problems such as drug use, stealing, fighting, skipping school, feeling depressed, and deliberately trying to hurt or kill themselves. Early youth alcohol consumption is related to alcohol problems later in life.