Alcohol compliance checks were conducted by the Muscatine Police Department October 7, 2016 on 16 businesses licensed to sell alcoholic beverages. Working with uniformed officers, underage youth entered these businesses and attempted to illegally purchase alcoholic beverages. Of the 16 businesses, 15 refused to sell to our underage buyers. The efforts of these responsible business people are commended.
Unfortunately, 1 of the businesses checked failed to comply with the law and sold to the underage buyers. This case has been referred to the Muscatine County Attorney for appropriate action. Curry’s Express Mart failed the check.
Convenience stores that passed the compliance check included Casey’s General Store #1484, Casey’s General Store #2906, Casey’s General Store #2944, GM Mini Mart, West Side Store, Hy-Vee Gas, GM food Mart, Kum & Go #438, Kum & Go #437, Kum & Go #436, Circle K #660, Muscatine Fast Break, Loos Inc., Fast Avenue One Stop and A&E Convenience.
We have learned that the community and our youth are safer and healthier when they don’t start using alcohol until after age 21. Illegal alcohol use by underage persons contributes to crime, car crashes, injuries, and deaths. Law enforcement officers find that alcohol also has a role in many of the more frequent minor crimes and nuisances that degrade the quality of life in our community. Many noise complaints, vandalism, littering, and similar nuisances involve young people who have been drinking. Public health officials report that alcohol use and abuse is also connected with teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and other health problems. Selling alcohol is a privilege that has very specific responsibilities attached to it and many Muscatine County retailers take this responsibility seriously. Staff caught selling alcohol to underage buyers will be fined up to $500 for a 1st offense. If a licensee sells to a minor, they will be fined up to $1,500 for the first offense. Businesses where a sale to an underage buyer occurs will be referred to the State of Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division for administrative actions, which may include administrative penalties in addition to criminal fines.
Please help us keep the next generation safe, keep alcohol out of the hands of our youth.
If you have any questions regarding the alcohol compliance strategies being implemented in Muscatine County, please feel free to contact Jaimie Cruse at jaimie.cruse@unitypoint.org or call 563-264-9409.