Eighteen out of 20 businesses visited in Bend passed a check for alcohol sales to minors by refusing to sell alcohol to a minor volunteer. The sales checks were performed June 15 by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. Jackpot Food Mart and Red Dragon Chinese Restaurant failed the test.
The sales check resulted in a compliance rate of 90 percent which is significantly above the 2011 statewide average of 76 percent.
The commission performs the minor sales checks in an effort to reduce drinking by minors, which is a serious problem throughout the state. The OLCC tests licensed liquor businesses throughout the year. Licensees or their employees could be held liable for alcohol-related damages and injuries if they serve or sell alcohol to a minor.
The OLCC offers a free training course on how to check ID’s. Participants learn how to identify false identification and the laws regarding minors and alcohol. Additional training opportunities are available including classes for store clerks and service permit holders. Interested persons can call the local OLCC office to schedule a training session. (Samples of OR Driver Licenses for minor and adult http://www.flickr.com/photos/oregonliquorcontrolcommission/sets/72157624623539267/)
During the sales checks, a minor volunteer attempts to purchase alcohol from a licensed business to see if staff are checking ID’s correctly and refusing to sell alcohol to anyone under 21. Commission inspectors or other law enforcement officers supervise the minor volunteers. The volunteers carry their own legal ID that identifies them as under 21 and do not disguise their age or lie to encourage the sale of alcohol. The Oregon Driver license for a minor carries a red border around the picture with the words “Under 21 until” followed by the date of his/her 21st birthday.
Under Oregon law, businesses in cities with a population of 20,000 or more have an equal chance of being randomly selected for a minor decoy compliance check. A business can also be selected for a compliance check if there is a documented complaint of sales to minors. Businesses in cities with a population under 20,000 and unincorporated areas in counties are not subject to these selection requirements.
In the last two years, the OLCC has distributed more than $350 million to Oregon’s General Fund, Cities, Counties, and Drug/Alcohol Abuse Programs. This money helps fund essential services such as schools, police and healthcare for Oregonians. See the distribution of dollars on OLCC’s Website.