violations found during sweep of Cook, DuPage, Will liquor
also part of effort in crackdown on underage liquor sales
December 11, 2006
CONTACT: Ted Penesis (firstname.lastname@example.org)
CHICAGOFourteen 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."
Industry Education Links:
Liquor Control Act
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Illinois Liquor Control Commission
Rules and Regulations
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