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Police to crack down on underage sales

The Hill County DUI Task Force released a warning to alcohol vendors in Havre and Hill County — underage sales tests are coming.

A press release from the Havre Police Department last week briefly announced the department's participation in "compliance checks" that "will be conducted within the next few weeks."

"The businesses that serve alcohol should be checking IDs to verify the age of the person attempting to purchase alcohol," the release said. "The businesses that have not been through RASS (Responsible Alcohol Sales and Service) or have employees working for them who have not been through the RASS training are urged to call the Department of Revenue, Liquor Control Division at (406) 444-4307 to set up a training."

The task force did their last checks in May 2011, just after a new law from the 2011 state legislative session, SB 29, took effect that requires "each employee who is authorized to sell or serve alcoholic beverages ... and the employee's immediate supervisor to successfully complete training to ensure compliance with state law."

Out of the 22 businesses inspected in 2011, the Oxford Sports Bar, the Shanty Bar and McLean's Grocery were the only businesses to fail the test.

Under the new law, those businesses, and any who might not pass the tests over the next few weeks, would have to "pay a $50 penalty for a first offense, a $200 penalty for a second offense, and a $350 penalty for a third offense in a 3-year period."

During the last inspection before the new law, in October 2010, four businesses did not pass inspection: Hi Line Gold Casino, The Elks Club, The Golden Spike and JitterBug's.


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