Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Compliance up in latest alcohol sting

2 of 13 businesses allegedly sold booze to minors


By TERRY SMITH
Express Staff Writer

    The Blaine County Underage Drinking Compliance Task Force achieved an 84.6 percent compliance rate in an alcohol sting operation conducted Saturday night at convenience stores throughout Blaine County.
    Hailey Police Chief Jeff Gunter, who coordinates the task force, a cooperative effort between local law enforcement agencies and the Blaine County Community Drug Coalition, said Monday that 11 of 13 businesses from “Ketchum to Carey” declined to sell alcohol to minors in the operation.


“We’re fairly pleased with the compliance rate and we hope the businesses will keep checking IDs and doing good checks through the holidays.”
Jeff Gunter
Hailey police chief



    Gunter said the offending businesses were allegedly Splash & Dash in Bellevue and Valley Car Wash in Hailey. Clerks in those stores were issued misdemeanor citations alleging sales of alcohol to underage persons.
    The legal drinking age in Idaho is 21.
    In the operations, police officers accompany an underage person, typically a volunteer police cadet from College of Southern Idaho, into a store, bar or restaurant and observe whether the underage person is served or allowed to buy alcohol.
    The 84.6 percent compliance rate is up from a 75 percent compliance rate in the last sting operation conducted in Blaine County in December 2011. The highest compliance rate was achieved in June 2011 when 92 percent of businesses tested declined to sell to minors. Earlier compliance checks had compliance rates as low as 53 percent in August 2010 and 42 percent in September 2010.
    Gunter said the latest compliance rate was encouraging.
    “We’re fairly pleased with the compliance rate and we hope the businesses will keep checking IDs and doing good checks through the holidays,” he said.


Terry Smith: tsmith@mtexpress.com




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