Maple Grove Police receives alcohol enforcement grant

The Maple Grove Police Department has been awarded a grant to conduct alcohol compliance checks on all licensed retailers within the city. A compliance check is a tool to identify licensed alcohol establishments that sell to underage youth.

In a compliance check, a law enforcement officer works with an underage youth who attempts to purchase alcohol from a bar, restaurant, liquor store, grocery store or other licensed outlet. If the clerk/server asks for identification and refuses the sale, the outlet passes the compliance check. If the clerk/server completes the sale, the outlet has illegally sold alcohol and fails the check.

In the next few months, officers will conduct the first round of compliance checks. 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 Maple Grove Attorney’s Office for criminal prosecution. In addition, the holder of the alcohol license will face civil penalties. Along with the issuance of an alcohol license comes the responsibility to ensure that all sales are made legally and responsibly.

Law enforcement is committed to working with retailers to help them abide by the law. Selling alcohol is a legitimate business that plays a valid role in our community. The city of Maple Grove along with the Minnesota Department of Public Safety-Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division offers free alcohol server training. Contact the city of Maple Grove at 763-494-6000 for more information.

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

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