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Liquor Violations Involving Minors Correct Only Part of Underage Drinking Problems

Thu January 10 2013 8:38 am
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Arlington Heights works to prohibit underage drinking by enforcing strict adherence to restrictions on sales to minors. After an annual summer enforcement operation, which involved police minor “agents” attempts to buy liquor at 97 establishments — including restaurants with bars and liquor stores, the following establishments received sanctions as a result of violations:

Javier’s, 8 W. Miner St., was fined $1,000 plus court costs, and will be required to cease liquor sales for a seven-day period sometime in the next two months (the businesses are free to choose the time period). Businesses are able to remain open and sell food during sanction time.

On July 30, 2012, an employee at Javier’s sold a frozen margarita to an 18-year-old working “agent” with the police department. The transaction occurred even though the server asked for the minor’s ID and saw that she was not 21, according to village prosecutor Ernest Blomquist. The violation was the third in a decade.

Red Rooster Liquors, 827 N. Wilke Road, was fined $600 plus court costs, and will have its liquor license suspended for two days. The violation of selling alcohol to a minor was the second within a year.

JD’s Q and Brew, 284-298 W. Rand Road was fined $400 plus courts costs. The violation was the second offense in a year, but the business was able to show the village that significant changes were made regarding liquor sales and the business was granted a reduced penalty.

La Roca Tapas, 6 S. Dunton, was fined $300 plus court costs after underage “agents” were sold wine without being asked for ID. The establishment had only been open a few months at the time of its first violation.

Meg’s Liquors, 1041 S. Arlington Heights Road, next to Dondi’s Pizza (unrelated) was fined $200 plus court costs — receiving a lesser penalty because it was the first offense involving selling liquor to a minor for the business, and because the owner Magdalena Gasior showed Mayor Arlene Mulder several ways she changed the ID checking process to prevent further sales to minors.

Golf Liquor, 606 E. Golf Road, fined $400 plus court costs after the business initially passed its regular compliance check. Police later received a tip and sent the underage agents back to the liquor store. A 19-year-old “agent” was sold a six-pack of beer without being asked for ID, according to Blomquist. The violation was the first offense for the store.

Illegal sales to minors are only part of the problems contributing to underage drinking
Inadequate store security is another problem where minors are able to obtain liquor illegally by shoplifting. Grocers and liquor stores are susceptible to retail theft of liquor, which occurs frequently. No violations were reported related to lack of security at any of the establishments.

Another source of underage drinking includes incidents that involve contributing to the delinquency of minors — such as under age drinking parties that occur with or without the knowledge of parents.

Another serious problem with underage drinking involves children stealing their parents’ liquor, and sharing the alcohol with other minors or younger siblings and friends.

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