5 Albert Lea businesses fail tobacco compliance checks

Published 11:12 am Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Employees at five Albert Lea businesses illegally sold tobacco to underage decoys during compliance checks conducted by the Albert Lea Police Department Tuesday.

The Police Department checked 26 establishments for tobacco compliance using two 17-year-old decoys.

According to a news release released Wednesday, Korner Mart conducted two illegal tobacco sales at its two stations and Kwik Trip on East Main Street, Tobacco Store and Walgreens each conducted one.

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According to the release, both Korner Mart locations failed the compliance checks, despite an employee who tried to contact the other location of the business to provide staff information on the compliance check and a description of the decoy.

Both the state provisional driver’s license and instructional permit illustrate the date the holder becomes age 18. There is also an “Under 21” notation above the photo.

According to the release, state law requires law enforcement to conduct tobacco compliance checks at least once a year. Retail clerks who sell tobacco to minors are issued citations for the first violation, which carries a maximum sentence of 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

A second violation by the same clerk within five years is a gross misdemeanor. Administrative penalties could include a $250 fine and a seven-day suspension of the tobacco license of the business.

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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