Agents from the Department’s Liquor Control Division and officers from the Enfield Police Department conducted undercover compliance checks of 22 package stores and grocery stores licensed to sell beer Saturday.
A volunteer minor who had been trained by the Governor's Prevention Partnership worked in tandem with enforcement officers and assisted in the operation by entering each store and attempting to purchase beer or liquor.
Of the 22 stores tested for compliance, it is alleged that two failed by selling to the undercover youth. Those stores which allegedly failed and may face administrative action are the Galaxy Liquor Store at 247 Hazard Avenue, and Enfield Discount Wine and Liquor at 95 Elm Street.
Consumer Protection Commissioner William M. Rubenstein said that routine compliance checks help the agency to identify businesses that knowingly or unknowingly sell alcohol to minors and bring them back into compliance with state law. However, compliance checks are not intended to hurt local businesses, he added.
“We don’t try to trick or entice establishments to sell alcoholic beverages to youth,” Rubenstein said. “If asked for proof of age before making a liquor purchase, the volunteer youth will hand over his or her actual photo I.D., which clearly indicates that they are underage.”
The Commissioner thanked the Enfield Police Department for their assistance on the local compliance operation, and congratulated local retailers.
“Although 100% compliance is our goal, we are gratified that more than 90% of the permit holders in Enfield passed this compliance check by not selling to the volunteer youths, and requested proof of age from them, as the law requires,” Rubenstein said. “We will continue our enforcement efforts toward achieving our goal of full compliance.”
The businesses that allegedly sold to a minor will be brought before the Liquor Control Commission for an administrative hearing, at which time they will have an opportunity to address the charges.