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Baxter cops get grant for alcohol compliance checks

BAXTER — The Baxter Police Department has been awarded a grant to conduct alcohol compliance checks on all licensed retailers.

In a complaince check, a law enforcement officer works with an underage youth who attempts to purchase alcohol from a bar, restaurant, liquor store, grocery store or the licensed outlet. If the clerk/server completes the sale, the outlet has illegally sold alcohol and fails the check.

“It is extremely important that we let everyone know, including the retailers and citizens, that we are not going to allow underage purchasing of alcohol to become a problem in our area,” Baxter Police Chief Jim Exsted said in a news release.

In the next few months, officers will conduct the first round of compliance checks. A second round of checks will be conducted after the first of the year.

Penalties for selling to a minor may include fines and license suspensions and may potentially lead to license revocation. A server who sells to someone younger than 21 may be charged with a gross misdemeanor offense.

The Minnesota Institute of Public Health provided the alcohol compliance check funding through the Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws Program of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.