Three Carson City businesses failed their alcohol sale to minors compliance checks this weekend during a Carson City Sheriff’s Office undercover operation.
The failed businesses were: Shell South Gas Station on S. Carson Street, Rand Convenience Store and Liquor on E. Williams Street and Golden Gate Petroleum on Highway 50.
As a part of the Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws operation to reduce underage drinking, the Sheriff’s Office completed checks on various stores across Carson City to make sure they were not selling alcohol to minors.
Two officers, Deputy Jessica Dickey and Reserve Deputy Steven “Malachai” Cornfield, worked with two juvenile decoys Friday night from 3:30-9:00 p.m., sending the teens into the stores to see if clerks would sell them alcohol. Both teenagers used their actual identification cards to attempt to purchase alcohol from employees.
Businesses who sell alcohol can to go through a Server Training Education class with Dickey, Deputy Gary Denham and Partnership Carson City to learn how to properly check IDs and how to reduce the sale of alcohol to underage kids. Prior to the operation, the deputies informed the businesses they would be conducting the operation that weekend.
“We want to let them know we are coming so if they sell to the kids then we can ask if they saw the release and went to the class,” Dickey said. “It is intelligence gathering; we give them the opportunity to be prepared and educated and if you still sold then it’s bad.”
In each store one of the officers would follow the decoys in, wearing plain clothes, to make sure the clerks were following all of the proper procedures with checking IDs including asking the customers age as well as checking the ID for the correct age. The operation targeted convenience stores, gas stations and grocery stores.
“Education is the biggest thing,” Dickey said. “We like to be able to teach the adults to better the community that the juveniles grow up in. We want to avoid alcohol related incidents and to do that we help teach the adults so that they can do their part to reduce those incidents.”
To do this, if a business failed the check, then the officers would go in and ask if they took the server training classes with the Sheriff’s Office and offer them the class, Dickey said.
The officers would explain what they witnessed happen with the transaction so the businesses couldn’t argue the juveniles were lying. The juveniles would also fill out police statements about what they experienced in each place who sold them alcohol.
“We want to help fix the problem because we don’t want someone to lose their job over this so we really push the education piece,” Dickey said.
Three businesses failed, and one man was cited for buying the two juveniles alcohol after a business denied them. The result of the employee and civilian selling alcohol to a minor was a $640 citation, and the business was cited $100 if that was its first offense. A second violation carries a $500 citation for the business and a third violation is $1,500 with an appearance before the Carson City Liquor Board which could potentially result in a loss of the liquor license.
The operation is a part of Partnership Carson City to monitor the numbers of places who sell alcohol to underage kids in Carson City, so the officers need to keep a detailed log of where they went, when, and what happened so Partnership Carson City has the statistics from the operation.
It’s also used so if a business passed, officers can go back and let it know about the operation and how it did.
To enroll in the next Server Training Education class, contact Partnership Carson City at 775-841-4730