Keeping Kids Safe - Spring Break Alcohol Compliance Check
Boise, March 26, 2010 – Just before spring break, officers from Boise Police, Garden City Police and Meridian Police teamed up with investigators from the Alcohol Beverage Control unit of Idaho State Police for an overnight “compliance check” – an investigation into which businesses are selling or serving alcohol to minors and which are not.
“Last night’s results are definitely encouraging. We hope the server training required in Boise City is behind the positive results. For public safety, we would certainly like to see this trend continue in Boise and repeated in other communities.” said Det. Tim Davidson of the Idaho State Police Alcohol Beverage Control Unit.
“The goal is to keep our kids safe.” said Boise Police Officer Jermaine Galloway who helped ISP organize the multi-jurisdictional enforcement operation.
“I’m really encouraged to see that the huge majority of Boise businesses checked last night had their server training completed, they properly checked ID’s and refused to sell alcohol to the teens,” Said Officer Galloway.
“We hope our alcohol server training is playing a role in the positive results. We know our continued enforcement in Boise keeping businesses alert and aware if the laws and their responsibilities. Either way, it’s a win-win; businesses don’t get fined or lose the privilege to sell alcohol, and it’s a step to keep kids safer in our community, especially at a time when more kids will be out of school and looking for things to do.” said Officer Galloway.
Last night’s investigation: The compliance check began in the 3 cities simultaneously, beginning at approx 6:00 p.m. and concluded at 11:00 p.m.. The investigation was overseen by detectives with the Idaho State Police Alcohol Beverage Control unit.
The investigation included:
• Four teams; two from Boise PD, and one each from Meridian and Garden City PD’s.
• Each team also included one or two minors, ages 18 – 19.
• The minors walked into businesses and asked to be served or sold beer or wine. The minors use their real state-issued identification which clearly says in red letters the individual is under age 21. Minor ID’s are also formatted differently, using a vertical layout as opposed to a horizontal layout for ID’s for those over age 21.
• The check included bars, restaurants, grocery and convenience stores.
The check into liquor law compliance revealed the following:
• Overall 82 businesses were checked in Boise, Meridian and Garden City.
• Boise: 53 establishments checked – only 2 sold alcohol to minors = 96% compliance.*
• Garden City: 18 establishments checked – 8 sold alcohol to minors = 55% compliance.
• Meridian: 11 establishments checked – 5 sold alcohol to minors = 54% compliance.
• In Boise one restaurant server was cited for failure to show proof of server training (Boise City Code 5-07-03(c)), a misdemeanor that if found guilty carries a fine up to $1,000 or six months in jail.
* The last alcohol compliance check by Boise Police and ISP was Dec. 18, 2009. At that time, Boise businesses were found to have a 72% compliance rate (meaning, at that time, more than one in four businesses checked did serve alcohol to minors, servers were cited and businesses faced administrative sanctions from the state.)
Penalties of providing alcohol to underage youth:
• A person who sells or furnishes alcohol to an underage youth will face fines between $500 and $1,000 plus up to one year in jail.
State Administrative Penalties for licensed establishments that sell alcohol to minors - maximums:
1st offense within three years - 10 day license suspension or $1,000.00 fine
• 2nd offense within three year - 30 day license suspension or 15 day suspension and $1,500.00 fine
• 3rd offense within three years - 180 day license suspension
DANGERS OF UNDERAGE DRINKING:
According to a study published earlier this week by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration:
“Alcohol is the most widely used substance of abuse among America’s youth. Alcohol contributes to the three leading causes of death among 12-20-year-olds (unintentional injury, homicide and suicide). And research shows that those who start drinking before age 15 are six times more likely to have alcohol problems as adults than those who start drinking at age 21 or older.”
The study reveals that more than a quarter of youth aged 12-20 (27.6 percent) drank alcohol in the past month nationwide, and approximately 8.6 percent of past-month drinkers aged 12-20 purchased their own alcohol the last time they drank.**
What can citizens do to help?
Boise Police join Mothers Against Drunk Drivers is urging parents to talk to their kids about making smart choices and highlighting the dangers of drinking alcohol while their under 21.
A MADD survey has found parents have a greater influence than many parents might think over the choices their children make. Boise Police encourage parents to take advantage of a helpful web site provided by MADD: thepowerofparents.org*** to help identify ways parents and concerned adults can keep kids safe from the dangers of alcohol.
Call Crime Stoppers:
Boise Police encourage citizens who know of places who serve alcohol to minors, or of places who may be serving already intoxicated patrons to contact Crime Stoppers. Boise Police will follow up on citizen tips.
You can contact Crime Stoppers at 343-COPS, or log onto www.343cops.com, or text CRIMES or 274637, subject: Tip236.
Let’s work together and keep our kids safe this spring break – and always!