3 cited for illegal alcohol sales during compliance checks

Published 11:10 pm Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Albert Lea police cited three people for illegal alcohol sales during a wave of alcohol compliance checks conducted throughout the city.

Decoys between 18 and 20 years old, supervised by a detective, attempted to purchase alcohol products at 28 different establishments.

Green Mill employee April Lynn Davies, 25; Liquor Depot employee Michelle Lynn Thompson, 59; and Wedgewood Cove employee Sidney Taylor Laurie, 26, conducted the wave’s illegal sales.

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According to a press release, Thompson failed to ask for identification, while Davies and Laurie reviewed the decoy’s identification and served regardless.

Retail clerks who sell alcohol to people under the age of 21 are summonsed to court and charged with a gross misdemeanor. In addition, the establishment is subject to having its alcohol license suspended. Continued violations may result in license revocation.

The release states both the Minnesota provisional driver’s license and instructional permit illustrate the date the holder becomes 18. An additional “Under 21” notation is also provided under the photo.

Employees and owners of establishments holding an alcohol license are encouraged to attend the underage access to alcohol server training in conjunction with the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division hosted by the Albert Lea Police Department.

According to the release, the City Council supports a voluntary Best Practices Program. The program’s purpose is to encourage liquor license holders to voluntarily undertake practices that will help avoid sales to underage buyers. A licensed establishment that participates in the program will be subject to a modified schedule of presumptive penalties.

The council believes that all people who sell or deliver alcoholic beverages should check the identification of anyone who appears to be 40 or younger. If a liquor licensee wishes to make this a requirement in its establishment, the city provides posted notices.