The Friendship Food Store, 1911 S. Defiance St., Archbold, was one of three Fulton County businesses cited for the sale of alcohol to a person under 21 years of age.
The Ohio Investigative Unit, a division of the Ohio Department of Public Safety, conducted “compliance checks” on Dec. 14, 22, and 29, 2011, at 18 county businesses.
The actions are called compliance checks because OIU agents are checking to make sure businesses with licenses to sell alcohol are complying with the state law that prohibits the sale of alcoholic beverages to persons under 21.
The results of the compliance checks were announced in a press release by HC3, Health Choices, Caring Communities.
HC3 describes itself as “an initiative of the Fulton County Family & Children First Council… a group of community members working together to prevent and reduce youth use of alcohol and other drugs in Fulton County.”
During compliance checks, trained informants who are under 21 years of age attempt to purchase alcohol while an officer waits outside, away from the view of those inside the store.
The two other businesses cited through the compliance check program were Free Bird LLC, 132 E. Airport Hwy., Swanton, and Community Markets of Ohio, 702 E. Main St., Delta.
Two other Archbold businesses were visited by the informant.
Archbold Main Stop was checked, and did not sell alcohol to the underage informant.
Archbold Nu-Arch Lanes was visited twice, and found to be in compliance with the law both times.
Other firms checked and found compliant were Speedway, Harns Delta Kwik Stop, Country Corral, and Heavens Carryout, Delta; Mel’s Tavern, Fayette; Hubs Tavern, Toledo 76, and Lassus Handy Dandy, Swanton; Circle K, 248 North Fulton Street, Circle K, 1497 North Shoop Avenue, Rite Aid, Courtview Mart, and Certified Oil Corporation, Wauseon. The North Fulton Street Circle K was checked twice.
When a business is found to be out of compliance with the law, both the business and the clerk who conducted the sale are issued citations for selling alcohol to an underage person.
The December 2011 checks showed a compliance rate of 85%, unchanged from March 2011, when the last round of checks was performed.
“Our goal is to see 100%,” said Keith Torbet, Wauseon police chief and chairman of the HC3 Law Task Force.
“Any establishment selling to someone underage is concerning,” he said.
HC3 stated the 2010 Fulton County Youth Health Assessment indicates that compared to those that do not drink, teens who do are “four times more likely to have driven with a drinking driver; two times more likely to consider attempting suicide in the past 12 months; 12 times more likely to have smoked marijuana in the past 12 months; and 3 1/2 times more likely to engage in any type of sexual behavior.
“Underage drinking is statistically associated with other risky behavior among teens in our county.”
Sharon Morr, a member of the HC3 coalition, said, “We all need to work together to help teens make healthy choices.”