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  ILCC Industry Education Division

NEWS RELEASE

 

Numerous violations found during sweep of Cook, DuPage, Will liquor retailers

Teens also part of effort in crackdown on underage liquor sales

DATE: December 11, 2006
CONTACT: Ted Penesis (ted.penesis@illinois.gov)

CHICAGO—Fourteen bars, gas stations, convenience stores, and other liquor establishments were cited for selling alcohol to underage buyers during liquor compliance checks in Chicago's southwest suburbs. The December 7-8 operation, coordinated by the Illinois Liquor Control Commission (ILCC), was the latest in a statewide crackdown on underage sales by Illinois liquor retailers.

Featured during the operation were underage youths hired to purchase alcohol from a total of 56 businesses. These youths were closely supervised and served on a team with state, county, and local law enforcement personnel. "This coordinated effort would not have been possible without the hard work of Cook, DuPage, and Will County Sheriffs' deputies and the various local police department officers," says the Illinois Department of Revenue's Luke Hartigan, who supervises ILCC and Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) agents.

Over sixty law enforcement personnel, split into thirteen teams, participated in the compliance check operation. In addition to checking for underage sales, compliance teams conducted a detailed inspection of 228 establishments during the two-day operation. For example, Liquor Control agents checked to ensure compliance with the state's Liquor Control Act, BCI agents inspected video games and cigarette packages for state seals, and sworn officers enforced criminal laws. A total of 302 violations were found during these inspections.

"Obviously, our goal is for businesses to voluntarily comply with the law," says ILCC Special Agent Randal Mendenhall. "We view this as an educational opportunity for our retailers. Hopefully, once the word gets out about these compliance checks, we will see the number of violations decrease during our regular round of inspections."

One area which will see continued vigilance is liquor sales to minors. "Governor Rod Blagojevich has identified underage drinking as a serious problem in our state," notes Hartigan. "And this operation is just one of several initiatives introduced by the Governor to combat underage drinking in Illinois. For example, the newly created TrAIL (Tracking Alcohol in IL) Program holds accountable those who provide alcohol to minors when it results in an injury or fatality; and the Don't Be Sorry campaign educates retailers, teens and the parents about the consequences of underage drinking."



 

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