Compliance check nabs 10 |

Compliance check nabs 10

SUMMIT COUNTY – Almost 20 percent of bars and liquor stores sold liquor to underage customers during alcohol compliance checks last week, the Summit Prevention Alliance (SPA) reported.

According to Bev Gmerek, SPA community prevention coordinator, minors accompanied by law enforcement officers visited 53 establishments Thursday and tried to buy alcohol. Ten of those sold alcohol to the minors, she said. It is SPA’s policy not to release the names of those that failed, said director Jeanie Ringelberg.

Ringelberg said SPA leaves the matter of citations in the hands of law enforcement. But SPA did release the names of those that passed.

However, the Summit Daily News learned that Screems in Silverthornewas one of the establishments that failed. This is Screems’ fourth brush with the law.

“The disappointing thing was that five of those 10 checked the identification and they still sold,” Gmerek said. “And they were all vertical IDs. They all say “Under 21′ in red. They’re very easy to spot. It’s amazing to me that five people looked at the ID and sold anyway. There’s no excuse for that.”

Colorado issues vertical identification cards and driver’s licenses to people under the age of 21 to help bartenders and liquor store clerks quickly determine if someone is of legal drinking age. In Colorado, that age is 21.

Gmerek said she also was disappointed because four of the 10 establishments that sold to minors were caught selling to minors in the last round of compliance checks.

“It’s disappointing that some of these places keep repeating,” Gmerek said. “It shows there’s a real lack of management. They don’t seem to be too concerned about it. There are places we’ve had in the past that failed and then passed later on – you can tell management placed emphasis on it. The other places, the ones that fail time and time again? There’s no management direction. This is a real problem.”

Gmerek said officers ticketed a clerk at one establishment, who in turn ran next door to warn the clerk at the bar next door.

“And we had numerous people where the manager would say, “Check ID,’ and they’d check the ID and sell anyway,” she said. “It’s carelessness.”

Law enforcement issued citations to clerks who sold alcohol to minors; town liquor boards or councils will address the liquor license holders at a later date.

Gmerek declined to say which establishments were caught in the sting, although those in Breckenridge and Dillon passed.

SPA offers server training courses several times each year to teach bartenders and others to identify underage customers. Of the 53 establishments surveyed last week, 39 percent of servers had taken server training classes. Of the 10 that failed the stings, six had not taken the courses.

Law enforcement officers conduct alcohol compliance checks twice each year.

“Especially this time of year, people need to check IDs,” Gmerek said. “There are going to be other compliance checks, and they might be sooner than later. This is not a difficult thing. We go in there with a random group of kids, who show them their valid ID and the clerks are catching them and refusing to sell. There are establishments in Breckenridge that pick up 100 or more IDs a week this time of year.”

Jane Stebbins can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 228 or

Making the Grade

Those that passed liquor compliance checks:

– Copper Mountain: Copper Mountain Conoco, Endo’s, Indian Motorcycle Cafe, Salsa Mountain Cantina

– Frisco: Antler’s, Diamond Shamrock, Safeway, Moose Jaw, Loaf “n Jug, 7-Eleven,

Silverheels at the Ore House, Holiday Inn

– Breckenridge: Rasta Pasta, Liquid Lounge, City Liquors, T-Bar, 7-Eleven, Giampetro, Salt Creek Saloon, Cecilia’s, AB Petroleum, Loaf “n Jug, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.

– Dillon: Lake Dillon Liquors, Maxwell Street Pizza, Wild Bill’s Pizza and Saloon,

Lakeside Bowling, Arapahoe Cafe, Lake Dillon Pub

– Keystone: Keystone Grocery, Out of Bounds, Gateway Liquors

– Silverthorne: Blue Valley Liquors, Porky’s Liquors, Old Dillon Inn, Coastal Mart, Eddie Bear’s, Old Chicago, Acorn store, Wildernest Conoco, Matteo’s, Murphy’s and The Mint.

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