Sixteen Jeffco liquor providers were cited for providing alcohol to a minor in a recent large-scale sting operation, marking a significant increase in the percentage of stores cited over previous years.
Ten of the stores are in South Jeffco and include a mix of convenience stores, independent establishments and a grocery store.
As part of the yearly sting operation, underage sheriff’s cadets attempted to purchase beer without providing identification at 70 county businesses.
“(We) used underage individuals to go in and purchase beer,” sheriff’s spokesman Mark Techmeyer said. “We try to do these at least once a year. … We’ve had larger (amounts of citations), but this is certainly larger than the norm.”
Typically, liquor providers are about 85 percent compliant, Techmeyer said. During the recent sting on May 18 and 19 and June 2, only 77 percent of the businesses targeted were not cited with violations.
“We’re normally around six (citations), so it’s quite a jump,” Techmeyer said. “Our hope in this thing is to have 100 percent compliance.”
Though businesses that sell liquor face show-cause hearings before the county liquor board for alleged violations, individual employees face criminal charges.
“The person who conducted the transaction is charged with sale of alcohol to an underage person,” Techmeyer said. “The liquor-license holder is brought before the liquor board for a show-cause hearing.”
The resulting volume of hearings has clogged the liquor board’s agenda for the past two months. Numerous hearings have been postponed and rescheduled to shorten the queue at each meeting.
Despite the number of recent citations, the Sheriff’s Office would prefer to work supportively with local businesses to help reduce instances of alcohol sales to underage customers, Techmeyer said.
“We’d like to work with them,” he said. “Our goal isn’t to be busting retail stores for underage noncompliance.”
Contact Emile Hallez Williams at email@example.com or 303-933-2233 ext. 22.
For updates, check www.ColumbineCourier.com.
18561 Highway 40
Genesee Wine & Spirits
25958 Genesee Trail Road
1153 Bergen Parkway
14011 W. Quincy Ave.
Foothills Green Liquors
5500 S. Simms St.
Happy Hound Wine and Liquors
10181 S. Kipling Parkway
Kipling Place Liquors
5924 S. Kipling Parkway
8250 W. Coal Mine Ave.
Werner’s West Peakview Liquor
9083 W. Peakview Drive
12532 W. Ken Caryl Ave.
Old Vine Liquor
9956 W. Remington Place
8434 S. Kipling Parkway
6798 W. Ottawa Ave.
10800 Highway 73
27152 Conifer Road
Fruit of the Vine Spirits & Wine
19423 N. Turkey Creek Road