Underage buyers denied in liquor checks

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— A 15-year-old and a 17-year-old were turned down at 13 stores where they tried to buy alcohol March 20, as all establishments checked by the Steamboat Springs Police Department passed alcohol compliance checks.

West End Liquor, Arctic Liquors, Kum N Go on Curve Plaza, 7-Eleven, Pioneer Spirits, Cellar Liquors, Sinclair on Hilltop Parkway, Ski Haus Liquors, Sinclair on Mount Werner Drive, Market on the Mountain, Central Park Liquor, City Market and Safeway all passed the test by denying the underage customers.

Capt. Joel Rae said he is happy with how compliance rates have continued to remain high. During the last compliance check, on Sept. 26, 2008, only West End Liquor sold alcohol to a minor. At that time, West End Liquor owner John Seymour was cited for selling a six-pack of Bud Light to an underage person.

"When we first started (compliance checks) we had basically a 12 percent compliance rate," Rae said, adding that 12 of 14 businesses failed that first round of testing several years ago. "We have definitely made good progress, and this is what we like to see."

The checks were conducted by hiring two students from Steamboat Springs High School. They are instructed to be honest and try to buy alcohol. If they are asked for their IDs, the students told cashiers they did not have them with them.

The stores checked during this round are considered off-premise stores because the alcohol is not consumed in the business.

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