Local Wisconsin Businesses Support Underage Drinking

by: Mike Miller

Underage drinking is an enormous problem all over the world. In the United States it has been in virtual epidemic proportions since the 1960s. Alcohol consumption among teens continues to rise due to peer pressure and ease of obtaining the booze.

Parents are one source teens use to obtain alcohol, and while this alarming trend seems to be gaining popularity, it appears stores have become more lax in the distribution of alcohol.

Merrill, Wisconsin

How common is it to have a legitimate businesses selling alcohol to minors? In Merrill almost 60% of the stores selling alcohol failed in a joint sting operation. Nearly 60 percent of Merrill businesses with liquor licenses failed to comply with a federal law that prohibits them from selling alcohol to minors.

The Merrill Police Department, with assistance from the Lincoln County Sheriff's Department, conducted alcohol compliance checks on 23 Merrill businesses in late May and early June. The checks involved underage volunteers who attempted to buy alcohol from the businesses, Merrill Police Chief Ned Seubert said.

The 13 businesses that failed the compliance checks either sold alcohol to minors, had no licensed beverage server on the premises or allowed minors to sell alcoholic beverages, Seubert said. Of those checked, 10 businesses were in compliance.

The department issued 13 citations as a result of the checks and those who failed must rectify their protocols for checking identification immediately. Maybe Wisconsin retailers need to take alcohol awareness classes?

The moral of this story – use common sense. It is important to do the right thing. Do not sell or buy alcohol for minors. We as a nation must do our best to curb underage alcohol consumption!