The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office conducted liquor compliance checks in March, 2011 over Spring Break. Of the sixty three businesses checked in the City of Castle Pines, the Town of Larkspur and unincorporated Douglas County, sixty one passed and two failed.
The two that failed were: Western Convenience in Castle Rock and Las Fajita in the City of Castle Pines.
The SIU detectives used underage volunteers to go into businesses and restaurants to attempt to purchase alcohol. This is part of a grant program that requires these checks to be conducted. The purpose is to ensure 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 ID’s. It clearly states on the identification that they are “Under 21”. If the underage volunteer is asked their age, they must tell the truth. This technique allows the server to recognize the customer is not old enough to purchase alcohol and the server needs to follow basic steps such as; confiscate the identification and turn it over to law enforcement.
Those in unincorporated Douglas County 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 business that sold in the City of Castle Pines will appear before the City of Castle Pines Liquor Authority. The County Commissioners will send a congratulatory letter to the businesses that passed.
SIU detectives are pleased with the high percentage of successes and have seen an increase in businesses doing the right thing; checking ID’s and not serving those that are underage.
The SIU detectives will also support those businesses that failed the check with the necessary training and/ or information needed to assist with future compliance of the law. Each business is required by their licensing agreement to have educational training for their servers on checking identifications and what to do if someone uses a fake ID or has an underage ID. The Douglas County SIU detectives offer this training for free to Douglas County Businesses.