3 businesses fail tobacco compliance checks; all pass alcohol sales checks

Published 5:31 pm Wednesday, January 19, 2022

The Albert Lea Police Department recently conducted compliance checks for both tobacco and alcohol sales. While all of the alcohol retailers passed their compliance checks, three business failed the checks for tobacco sales.

According to a press release, Minnesota began prohibiting sales of tobacco products to anyone under 21 in August 2020. Studies have shown that by increasing the sale age away from the high school ages, the initiation of smoking by 15- to 20-year-olds decreased.

The three businesses that failed the tobacco checks were Hy-Vee Gas, Casey’s and Love’s. The release stated the businesses could face civil and criminal penalties for the failures, and the clerks who sold the tobacco could face criminal charges.

Compliance checks are conducted yearly as required by law. According to the release, decoys are dispatched with their actual Minnesota ID to attempt to purchase alcohol and tobacco. No deceit or trickery is involved. Clerks are required to ID those that attempt to purchase.