State releases alcohol checksAn average of 91 percent of businesses in North Dakota passed alcohol compliance checks in the last two years, but checks in Dickinson are becoming less frequent.
An average of 91 percent of businesses in North Dakota passed alcohol compliance checks in the last two years, but checks in Dickinson are becoming less frequent.
Statewide establishments selling alcohol for consumption on-site had a 93 percent compliance rate, according to a press release from the North Dakota Department of Human Services’ Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.
Off-sale establishments had a compliance rate of 89 percent between July 2009 and July 2010, according to the release.
Law enforcement agencies in Southwest North Dakota team up with the Coalition of Safe Communities to check businesses.
Law enforcement takes young adults who are too young to legally drink into liquor-selling businesses and tries to buy alcohol.
Becky Byzewski, coalition coordinator, said 2010 proved to be tough year to coordinate the checks.
“It’s just been really difficult and challenging to try to set up times,” she said.
Byzewski usually recruits college students and finding times when both they and law enforcement are available has been impossible, she said.
“We have seen that and we are concerned, too that it’s fallen by the wayside for whatever reason,” said Dickinson Police Capt. Joe Cianni.
It may be staffing shortages and changes they’ve gone through that put the program on the back burner, but he is unsure exactly why.
“Especially with the transition we went through here back in April … we did some reallocation of personnel and I think that may have been a factor in it,” Cianni said. “We’re looking into it and we’re certainly going to try to get on it hard again.”
Five out of 18 Dickinson businesses failed checks in Aug. 2009, but all passed in December 2009, Byzewski said.
She wasn’t expecting every business to pass.
“I go to a lot of the establishments, the food ones … and I just don’t see people doing the things that they should be,” Byzewski said. “I’m happy because that’s the way I’d like it to be, but I was really surprised.”
One of eight establishments checked in Stark County in November failed a compliance check — Rendezvous Lounge in Belfield.
One of three businesses checked in Dunn County in May also failed — the 2 7/8 Bar in Killdeer.
“Anybody can make a mistake,” said Shari Gibson, manager of 2 7/8 Bar. “You just explain to your help that you have to check IDs.”
Servers are also required to attend training since the business failed the check, she added.
All seven businesses checked in Bowman and Rhame failed compliance checks in Feb. 2009. Those businesses were Windy’s, Kum & Go, Hawks Landing, Has Beens, Crystal Bar and Twin Butte in Bowman and the Waterhole in Rhame.
Local law enforcement agencies visited 658 on-site establishments and 64 off-sale establishments statewide, according to the release.
“In North Dakota, substance abuse prevention efforts involve interagency cooperation, and restricting access to alcohol is an effective strategy communities can use to reduce underage drinking,” Chad Eagleson, Department of Human Services’ prevention criminal justice specialist said in the press release.
Management at other liquor establishments listed were either unavailable or declined comment Wednesday.