ST. PAUL, Minn. — Underage drinking and over-consumption continue to be a concern in and around college campuses across Minnesota.
To remind establishments about the importance of serving alcohol responsibly and legally, agents from the Department of Public Safety Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division (DPS-AGED), are once again conducting random compliance checks around college campus bars throughout the fall.
The random alcohol inspections will include required license postings, records and receipts, and checking the purity of alcohol. AGED agents will also provide educational materials about over-service and underage consumption
Serving Alcohol Responsibly and Legally
Nearly 20 percent of traffic fatalities in the last five years (2011 – 2015) among 16- to 20-year-olds are drunk driving-related. Alcohol servers play a vital role in refusing service to anyone under 21.
- AGED reminds establishments to ID every customer ordering alcohol every time.
- Any establishment confiscating an illegal ID must turn it over to law enforcement within 24 hours.
- Criminal charges and civil lawsuits can be filed against establishments and servers for both over-service and underage service.
- It is illegal for a liquor establishment to permit any person under the age of 21 to drink alcohol on the licensed premises.
- It is illegal for a licensed retailer to provide alcohol to a person under age. If the person suffers great bodily harm or death as a result of intoxication, the provider can be charged with a felony.
For an individual under 21 trying to purchase alcohol, it is illegal to:
- Use or possess a fake driver’s license to purchase alcohol.
- Lend a driver’s license to another to obtain alcohol.
- Display another person’s driver’s license to obtain alcohol.
- Alter a driver’s license.
Signs of Intoxication
Establishments should educate servers on monitoring signs of impairment and stop serving customers when those signs become apparent. Signs include:
- Loss of coordination
- Impaired judgment
- Reaction time is affected
- Inhibitions become relaxed
- Slurred speech
“We know establishments are working hard to keep their customers safe and minors away from alcohol but good people sometimes make mistakes,” said Michele Tuchner director of DPS-AGED. “With frequent employee turnover in establishments around college towns, it’s important to remind bartenders to serve responsibly. By checking IDs and monitoring alcohol consumption servers have the ability to save lives.”
Compliance Checks – Illegal Gambling
During the same fall period, the Department of Public Safety Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division (DPS-AGED), in conjunction with the Gambling Control Board (GCB), will once again conduct charitable and illegal gambling compliance checks at establishments across the state.
As fantasy sports and charitable gambling opportunities continue to grow, education is key to maintaining a legal gambling environment. Agents will review legal gambling activities, such as pull tabs, and investigate any potentially illegal sports betting.
- With football season underway, establishments need to know that football boards for pay are illegal and considered gambling.
- Outside of licensed charitable organizations, gambling that consists of consideration, chance and prize is illegal. Removing one of those three elements would often make that activity legal.
- Establishments that host licensed charitable gambling, such as pull-tabs, can risk losing their license if football boards or other illegal gambling is conducted on the premises.
Education Before Enforcement
AGED’s mission is to educate establishments about the importance of serving alcohol responsibly and legally, and to help bars prevent illegal gambling.
Last year, AGED completed 39 inspections in three college cities. Agents provided education on violations that included:
- Illegal play of pull-tabs by employees.
- An illegal raffle.
- Serving of “mystery” shots, which are prohibited by law.
- Pull-tab inventory not up to date.
About the Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division
DPS-AGED monitors the alcohol industry, issues both alcohol and gambling licenses, and approves regulatory practices. It provides technical and field assistance to businesses and local units of government. It conducts background investigations and criminal investigations relating to alcohol and lawful gambling, the Minnesota Lottery, pari-mutuel horse racetracks and card rooms, and tribal reservation gambling.
Additionally, the division enforces laws pertaining to illegal gambling such as sports bookmaking and other illegal gambling activities. It initiates enforcement actions, resolves and mediates complaints on liquor and gambling violations. It conducts formal hearings on violators, and provides forums for discussion and resolution of liquor and gambling issues.
In 2015, DPS-AGED Activities Included:
- Gambling agents conducted 164 criminal investigations.
- 119 Tribal State compact compliance inspections.
- 24 Corporate background and licensing investigations for AGED, GCB and MRC.
- 984 investigations regarding alcohol complaints.
- 817 pre-license alcohol inspections.