LAKE OSWEGO – Underage drinking is a national public health and safety issue. To help minimize alcohol related incidents involving minors, the Lake Oswego Police Department and Oregon Liquor Control Commission conduct operations to ensure local businesses licensed to sell alcohol are abiding by laws prohibiting the sale of alcoholic beverages to minors.
On May 30th, underage decoys were sent to forty-eight businesses in Lake Oswego and attempted to purchase alcohol. The sales check resulted in a compliance rate of 88 percent which is above the 2012 statewide average of 81 percent.
During the operation, decoys successfully purchased alcohol from six businesses. Four out of the six times, the decoys were sold alcohol even though they presented their own valid personal identification which clearly showed they were younger than 21 years old. Two out of the six times, the decoys were never asked for identification.
Businesses are required to request identification from purchasers of alcohol if the purchaser appears to be younger than 26 years old. Businesses and sellers can be held accountable if they distribute, sell or otherwise make alcoholic beverages available to a person who is not 21 years old.
Sellers who fail to assure the proper age of the purchaser may be issued a citation for violating Oregon Revised Statute 471.410 – Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor. Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor is a Class A Misdemeanor punishable by a maximum sentence of one year in jail and monetary fines.
The following is a list of the businesses that did not check the decoy’s identification and sold alcohol to the person:
• Gemini Bar & Grill – 456 N. State St
• Lake Oswego Downtown Liquor Store – 644 N. State St
The following is a list of the businesses that checked the decoy’s identification and still sold alcohol to the person:
• Mt. Park Grocery & Deli – 4A Monroe Pkwy
• Stickmen Brewery & Skewery – 40 N. State St
• Wizer’s Oswego Foods – 330 First St
• Azteca Mexican Restaurant – 4250 Mercantile Dr
The Lake Oswego Police Department will be conducting additional operations throughout the summer and hopes to achieve 100 percent compliance.
For more information, contact Detective Lieutenant Darryl Wrisley at 503.635.0250.