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Police: 3 businesses sold to minors

FAIRMONT — Three local businesses failed alcohol compliance checks last month by selling alcohol to a minor, according to the Fairmont Police Department.

Police say the businesses that failed are Casey’s General Store at 202 E. Blue Earth Ave., Super America at 2197 N. State St. and Interlaken Golf Club. They could face administrative sanctions for failing to comply with state alcohol laws. The local licensing authority — the Fairmont City Council — could impose a fine of up to $2,000 and suspend the license or permit for up to 60 days for each violation, or impose any combination of these sanctions.

In addition, the three employees caught selling alcohol to an underage buyer were referred to the Martin County Attorney’s Office for criminal prosecution. They could face a misdemeanor charge that carries a maximum penalty of a year in jail and a $3,000 fine.

The alcohol compliance checks were conducted by young adults under 21 years of age under the direct supervision of a plainclothes Fairmont police officer.

The police department conducted the checks at all Fairmont businesses licensed to sell alcohol, on or off sale.

“These failures are far too many, but we must keep in mind that a vast majority of businesses did an excellent job by refusing to sell to underage buyers during the checks,” Captain Eric Tonder of the Fairmont Police Department said in a press release. “In past years, we have seen 100 percent compliance, which is always our goal. We are confident that alcohol compliance checks are a positive tool in deterring underage alcohol sales through consistent enforcement and education of alcohol sales laws.”

The department asks that patrons of area businesses understand the importance of having their ID checked to verify their age when buying alcohol or tobacco.

Police also note that they partnered in May with the Martin County Substance Abuse Coalition to offer free training to all business owners and their employees on state alcohol sales and properly checking IDs. At that time, Fairmont businesses were made aware that compliance checks would be conducted within 12 months.

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