Sixteen metro businesses cited for alcohol sales to minors

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- Authorities say 16 metro businesses have been cited for alcohol sales to minors as the result of the latest round of compliance checks.

This is the result of a two-day campaign conducted May 17th and 18th in Douglas and Sarpy counties. A total of 242 outlets were checked.

Click here for the results.

Omaha Police Sgt. Alan Reyes said, "We're in the middle of the high school graduation season which typically leads to an increase in underage drinking. Businesses need to be on the lookout for youth attempting to purchase alcohol, as well as adults procuring alcohol on their behalf."

El 7 Mares, at 5447 S. 24th Street, was among those found in violation. They've pleaded guilty to selling to minors within the past four years and as a result, a guilty finding by the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission for the latest citation could result in two mandatory days of closure (no alcohol sales would be allowed) and 20 days of suspension that could be paid off at $100 per day according to the LCC's
penalty guidelines.

The other 15 businesses found in violation are facing their first sale to a minor within the last four years. If found guilty by the LCC, these businesses would be facing 10-20 days of suspension that could be paid off at $50 per day. Eight of these licenses are less than two years old, including two that are so new they are operating on a temporary permit.

According to Sgt. Reyes, "Law enforcement is more than willing to work with businesses to ensure that laws and regulations are followed." The LCC also has a list of certified training courses and resources for retailers on its website.

Thirty-four officers from the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, La Vista Police Department, Nebraska State Patrol, Omaha Police Department, and Sarpy County Sheriff's Office participated in the two-day, enhanced underage drinking enforcement effort.

To assist in reporting underage drinking or adults providing alcohol to minors, call the statewide tip line at 1-866-Must-B-21 (687-8221). It's anonymous. Individuals are urged to call 911 to report an underage drinking party in progress.

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