The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office conducted liquor compliance checks on September 18, 2010. Of the six businesses checked, three passed and three failed.
The three that passed were: Noodles and Company (Town Center in Highlands Ranch), Tokyo Joe’s on Broadway, and Wildcat Wine and Spirits on Red Cedar Dr in Highlands Ranch. The three that failed were: Indulge and Bernie’s Hot Dog Co (both in Town Center in Highlands Ranch), and a vendor at the Oktoberfest event in Town Center.
The SIU detectives used an underage volunteer to go into businesses and restaurants to attempt to purchase alcohol. This is part of grant program that requires these checks to be conducted to make sure businesses and their employees are compliant and follow their training in checking identifications of those that attempt to buy alcohol. The trained volunteers use their own underage identification cards and must present them when asked. They are not fake or altered ids. It clearly states on the card that they are “Under 21”. If they are asked their age they must tell the truth. This technique allows the server to recognize that they are not old enough and they need to follow basic steps and confiscate the identification and turn it over to law enforcement.
Those that allowed the sale were issued a citation, and the business owner will be given a ‘show cause’ notice to appear in front of the Douglas County Liquor Licensing Authority. The County Commissioners will send a congratulatory letter to the businesses that passed.
Even though three out of the six failed the check, detectives of the SIU are pleased with the normally high percentage of successes. They have seen an increase in businesses doing the right thing, checking ids and not serving those that are underage. The detectives will also make sure that the business that failed the check will have the necessary training or information needed to make sure that there is not another failure. Each business is required by their licensing agreement to have some sort of educational training for their servers on checking identifications and what to do if someone uses a fake id or has an underage id. The SIU detectives can do this training for free.