Undercover Liquor Operation Aims for a Safer Future
KREX News Room
MESA COUNTY, Colo.- When it comes to keeping alcohol out of the hands of minors, Mesa County doesn’t mess around.
Sgt. Jim Creasy with the Grand Junction Police Department said, "The state coordinates the whole entire effort, but Mesa County Sheriff's Department, Fruita Police Department, Palisade Police Department and us will take part."
While many establishments are following the rules, some were caught breaking them. "We did 111 businesses. We had a little less than 10 percent noncompliance," Creasy said. Nine establishments were caught selling alcohol to minors.
NewsChannel 5 met with one local liquor store that passed the test. Manager of Country Club Liquors, Mike Narducci, said, "I just asked the young gentleman who did come in if he would show me his current ID. He said he did not have one and I said we could not sell the beer to him."
Country Club Liquors will not sell alcohol to anyone without an ID. They also have a guide to help spot fake IDs. "I've been a bartender for a very long time. Mesa County offers classes that you have to take. It gives you the heads up on what to look for with fake IDs," said Candice Coates, an employee at Country Club Liquors.
Coates also said, "I just thought everyone working with alcohol would have that knowledge and background."
Both Country Club Liquors employees and city officials tell NewsChannel 5 they have one goal in mind. "We don't want to supply any minor to go out there and possibly drink and drive and kill someone," Narducci said.
Creasy said, "The ancillary crimes that go with the underage drinking, specifically, drunk driving accidents."
Narducci also said, "We don't want to contribute to someone going down a bad path."
Creasy said they aren’t trying to scare businesses with these operations. They are trying to educate them with the goal of a safer future.
The nine liquor establishments caught selling alcohol to minors were: Top East Restaurant, Horizon Liquor, Fin's Grill, The Winery Restaurant, Taqueria Valparaiso, Pete's House of Spirits, El Tapatio, Chin Chin and Clifton Liquors.