Police could conduct additional stings this summer

Minor decoys sent by police into local establishments to check for compliance with state laws were able to buy alcohol from six of 48 businesses.

The Lake Oswego Police Department announced results of its May 30 underage alcohol operation this week. The overall rate of compliance with alcohol sales laws was 88 percent, which is better than the 2012 statewide average of 81 percent, according to police.

During the operation, decoys successfully purchased alcohol from six businesses; of those cases, there were four times the decoys bought alcohol even though they presented their own valid personal identification showing they were younger than 21 years old. In two of the six times, the decoys weren’t carded at all.

According to police, businesses that didn’t check identification at all when selling alcohol to a minor included Gemini Bar & Grill and Downtown Lake Oswego Liquor and Cigar, both on North State Street.

Businesses where employees looked at identification and sold alcohol despite the purchaser being underage included Mountain Park Grocery & Deli on Monroe Parkway, Stickmen Brewery & Skewery on North State Street, Wizer’s on First Street and Azteca Mexican Restaurant on Mercantile Drive.

Businesses are required to request identification when selling alcohol if the purchaser looks younger than 26. Businesses and sellers can be held accountable if they distribute, sell or otherwise make alcoholic beverages available to a person who is under 21 years old.

Sellers who fail to ensure the proper age of the purchaser can be cited for furnishing alcohol to a minor, a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and monetary fines.

Underage drinking is a national public health and safety issue, leading officials to conduct these types of stings, according to police.

The Lake Oswego Police Department plans to conduct additional operations throughout the summer in hopes of achieving 100 percent compliance. For more information, contact Detective Lt. Darryl Wrisley at 503-635-0250.

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