Businesses start new compliance measures [UPDATED]Published 11:12am Thursday, July 25, 2013 Updated 11:27am Thursday, July 25, 2013
The four Fergus Falls businesses that failed alcohol compliance checks done by police June 20 were given the next course of action, approved July 15 by the city council.
A total of 19 establishments were checked, but it was Northern Aire Lanes, Z103 Bar and Grill, Applebee’s and Mabel Murphy’s that failed. Since then, Police Chief Kile Bergren spoke with management at the establishments.
The checks were part of the Best Practices program, a partnership started 12 years ago between the city and the Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division of the state of Minnesota. The goal of the program is to take a positive and proactive approach to combat underage drinking, according to a memo from Bergren.
The businesses were understanding and accountable for their actions, Bergren said, and they showed a willingness to take positive steps to ensure that future violations don’t occur.
“I think people, for the most part, are willing to work with us,” he said.
For Mabel Murphy’s, it was the third failure within a three-year period, where each time a server provided an alcoholic beverage to a person under the age of 21. Mabel Murphy’s outlined steps it’s willing to take to ensure that no further liquor violations occur.
The steps include Implementing a mandatory carding policy for everyone appearing under the age of 40; implementing additional age verification devices or materials; implementing an incentive program for staff to identify underage individuals; additional training for employees on underage consumption and purchasing; a $2,000 fine to be paid within 60 days; a four-consecutive-day license suspension to be served within 90 days; a one-year suspension from the Best Practices program.
Applebee’s had its second failure within a three-year period. With its most recent violation, the server also failed to request identification from the underage party. It’s been given the option of a $1,000 fine or the option to purchase an automated age verification system.
Both Northern Aire Lanes and Z-103 Bar and Grill failed for the first time in a three-year period. Going by the city ordinance, both establishments opted to purchase an automated age verification system in lieu of the $500 fine.