Making Bartenders Think Twice in Clinton - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Making Bartenders Think Twice in Clinton

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 If you serve alcohol to a minor in Clinton, be prepared to pay the price. 

Clinton Police say the Wild Rose Casino and Resort is facing a liquor license suspension, and a fine, following two failed alcohol compliance checks. 

So, how often are businesses being checked, and failing?

The answer... Quite a bit. 

But, being a bartender today can be hard work. You may be asked to pour a beer, while having three other customers barking orders at you.

Even though it's hard, bartenders are saying the biggest thing to remember to do is stop, and ask for an ID. 

"We train our bartenders to check ID's," says Bar Manager at VK Shooters, Lynn Wagoner. "We've had people on the line. I've checked quite a few ID's."

Because the bar only opened a week ago, they haven't had to go through a compliance check yet, but Sgt. Steve Cundiff with the Clinton Co. Sheriff's Department say, they will. 

"Underage Drinking has been a problem in the county, as well as other counties for a long time," says Cundiff. "We just want to make sure they are doing their job."

A compliance check is when department deliberately send minors into alcohol selling establishments, looking to buy liquor. '

The whole point is to make sure clerks and bartenders don't give it to them. 

Clinton Co. does this twice a year, even sending businesses a notice, letting them know this will be happening soon. 

Even with the letter, the numbers say, people are still failing.

According to the Clinton County Substance Abuse Council, from July 2012 - June 2013, 175 checks were completed. 27 business failed, about 15%.

From July 2013 to now, only 10% of businesses are failing, but even with the improvement, law enforcement officers believe the problem, is around to stay. 

"Alcohol has been a problem for the 20 some years that I've been a law enforcement officer and it will continue to be a problem," Cundiff explains. 

The fine for serving a minor in Iowa is a hefty one, carrying a fine of $735 for the first offense. 

Then, the business faces charges from the state, that may lead to the loss of a liquor license. 

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