Four Archbold business places recently passed a compliance check, by not selling alcohol to minors.
The undercover check was conducted by the Ohio Investigative Unit.
However, the Fulton County Healthy Choices, Caring Communities (HC3) coalition announced recently that four suppliers sold alcohol to minors. It was the lowest compliance rate in the last two years.
HC3 is an initiative of the Fulton County Family & Children First Council. Its goal is to prevent and reduce the use of alcohol and other drugs by young people in the county.
The OIU is a division of the Ohio Department of Public Safety, charged with enforcement of liquor, food stamp, and tobacco laws.
Lou Moody, HC3 project director, said OIU is a member of the HC3 coalition, along with other law enforcement agencies, schools, and businesses.
During the latest sweep, OIU agents, using specially trained informants under the age of 21, checked 24 Fulton County businesses.
One was checked twice.
During the compliance checks, the OIU officer waits out of sight of those inside the store while the informant goes inside and attempts to purchase alcohol.
The purpose of the check is to ensure that local retailers that hold state licenses to sell liquor are requiring proper identification and selling alcohol only to those over the age of 21.
The four Archbold businesses that passed their compliance checks were Archbold Sunoco, Archbold SuperValu, Circle K, and Archbold Main Stop.
Others stores that did not sell alcohol to the underage informant were C&J Carryout, rural Fayette; Circle K stores in Wauseon, along with Wal-Mart, Dollar General, Smith’s Restaurant, VFW Post 7424, and Sullivan’s Restaurant; T Mart, Metamora; Lassus Handy Dandy and the Garage Bar & Grill, Delta; and Speedway, Toledo 76, Assumption Carryout, A1 Carry Out, and Swanton Drug, all in the Swanton area.
Lassus Handy Dandy, on West Airport Highway, Swanton, sold alcoholic beverages to an underage informant on two occasions.
Also caught failing the compliance check was White Pines Golf Course, rural Swanton; Courtview Mart, Wauseon; and Anchor Bay Carryout & Pub, rural West Unity.
Each business was issued a citation on the spot for the sale of, and/or furnishing of, alcohol to a person under the age of 21.
In addition to the business, each clerk that conducted the transaction was cited with the same charge.
Officials of HC3 said in a press release, “This round of checks shows the percentage of compliance has gone down 5% as compared to the previous results from the winter of 2011.
“For December 2011, Fulton County businesses stood at 85% compliant. Our results from the 2012 summer checks found 80% compliant.
“This is the lowest percent compliance with Ohio’s underage alcohol laws that we have seen in the last two years.”
Keith Torbet, Wauseon police chief, and chairman of the HC3 law task force, said the group’s goal “is to see 100% compliance. Any establishment selling to someone underage is concerning.”
The 2010 Fulton County Youth Health Assessment stated that when youngsters who drink alcohol are compared to youngsters who do not, those who do are four times more likely to have ridden with a drinking driver, twice as 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.
Sharon Morr, a member of the HC3 coalition, said, “We all need to work together to help teens make healthy choices.”
HC3 and OIU work together to bring ASK, the Alcohol Server Knowledge training program, to the county.
Provided for free, ASK provides instruction on laws pertaining to the sale and/or consumption of alcohol and tobacco, false identifications, and the penalties for those found in violation.
The last ASK training was held Monday, Oct. 29 at the Fulton County Administration Building conference room. About 38 persons attended.– David Pugh