Three of five licensed businesses in Bend failed a recent Oregon Liquor Control Commission compliance test by selling alcoholic beverages to a minor.
Two inspectors and a minor volunteer conducted the test as part of the agency's program to control underage drinking, which is a serious problem in Oregon according to a news release from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. In a compliance test, minor volunteers age 18-20, try to buy alcohol from licensees or their employees to determine if they are properly checking identification and obeying state law prohibiting alcohol sales to anyone under age 21.
The Costco store at 2500 Hwy 20 E, US Market at 2625 NE Butler Market Rd, and the Westside Texaco Food Mart of 912 NW Newport all sold to minors during the test conducted on April 20th. Servers and bartenders or licensees whose employees provide alcohol to the minor or fail to verify their age, are subject to administrative sanctions including fines or license suspensions. Store clerks who sell are cited into court and face a minimum fine of $350.
Two businesses refused to sell to the minor: Wild Oats Market of 2610 NE Hwy 20; and Erickson's Thriftway of 725 NE Greenwood Ave.
The minor volunteers are supervised by OLCC inspectors or other law officers during the test, carry their own legal ID and are advised not to disguise their age or encourage the sale of alcohol.
The OLCC tests approximately 1,000 licensed liquor businesses annually and a number of police agencies also do compliance checks.
The OLCC offers training to store clerks, service permit holders and others on ID checking, identifying false identifcation, and laws regarding minors and alcohol.