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Crackdown planned on underage liquor sales

The Olmsted County Sheriff's office plans to crack down on liquor establishments that sell alcohol to youth after receiving a grant to conduct compliance checks on all licensed retailers.

In the next two months, officers will conduct the first round of compliance checks by working with underage buyers who attempt to purchase alcohol from a bar, restaurant, liquor store, grocery store, or other licensed outlet.

If the clerk or server asks for identification and refuses sale, the outlet passes the compliance check. If the clerk or server completes the sale, the outlet has illegally sold the alcohol and fails the check.

A second round of checks will be conducted after the first of the year.

Any seller caught selling to an underage buyer will be referred to the Olmsted County Attorney's Office for criminal prosecution in addition to potential civil penalties.


Penalties for selling to a minor can include fines and license suspensions and can potentially lead to license revocation. A server who sells to someone under 21 can be charged with a gross misdemeanor offense.

The Minnesota Institute of Public Health provided the alcohol compliance check funding through the Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws Program of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

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