BEND, Ore. - The Oregon Liquor Control Commission conducted recent minor decoy sting operations in Bend and Madras that found just over half of the visited licensees refused to sell to the underage volunteer. The program utilizes minor volunteers who go into businesses and attempt to buy alcohol with their own ID.
The Bend businesses were visited on July 5 and found eight of 13 premises visited didn’t sell to the minor, for a 61 percent compliance rate.
Those who passed included Aspect Boards & Brew; Atlas Hard Cider Co.; Bangers & Brews; Good Life Brewing Co.; Market of Choice; Next Level Burger; Croutons, and Boneyard Beer.
Those who sold to the minor included Craft Kitchen & Brewery; River Bend Brewing Sports Pub; Deschutes Brewery Mountain Room; Pacific Pizza & Brew; Immersion Brewing, and the 7-Eleven on NW Galveston Avenue.
Nine Madras licensees were visited on Aug. 23 — two days after the eclipse — and five of nine refused to sell to the minor, for a 55 percent compliance rate.
The no-sales list included Madras Chevron & Circle K; Wild Winds Station; 987 Mart; Madras Pub & Deli, and Midcity Texaco.
The restaurants and businesses say they are using this as a learning experience and are improving how they card people at their restaurants.
According to the OLCC they say about 80 percent of businesses across the state pass the test and don't sell to minors.
During the sales checks, a minor volunteer attempts to purchase alcohol from a licensed business to see if staff are checking ID's correctly and refusing to sell alcohol to anyone under 21.
Commission inspectors or other law enforcement officers supervise the minor volunteers. The volunteers carry their own legal ID that identifies them as under 21 and do not disguise their age or lie to encourage the sale of alcohol. The Oregon Driver license for a minor carries a red border around the picture with the words "Minor Until" followed by the date of his/her 21st birthday.
Under Oregon law, businesses in cities with a population of 20,000 or more have an equal chance of being randomly selected for a minor decoy compliance check. A business can also be selected for a compliance check if there is a documented complaint of sales to minors.
According to the OLCC the businesses that did not pass the test will be visited again by the OLCC soon to make sure they have made adjustments to the way they enforce liquor sales.
The OLCC says sales to minors is one of the most common violations they see, but it is also one of the easiest for businesses to avoid.
Jacob Larsen spoke to several of the local business today, he will have more tonight on KTVZ at 6.