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Omaha area businesses ticketed for selling alcohol to minors

Posted: 1:19 PM, Mar 04, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-04 14:35:30-05
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OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Project Extra Mile says 31 area businesses were cited for selling alcohol to minors. According to their report, Metro area law enforcement conducted compliance checks on January 4th and March 1-2 at 320 businesses.

Ten percent of the businesses checked were cited, which is about twice the number that failed compliance checks in November. Law enforcement says the trend has them concerned.

"We're very concerned that the percentage of businesses selling to minors in the Omaha area has doubled since November," said Sgt. Jeremy Leifeld with the Ralston Police Department. "Underage drinking has many negative consequences for our communities and retailers can do their part by instructing employees to check ID, verify age and never sell to youth presenting a vertical ID."

FULL REPORT BELOW:

As a result of compliance checks conducted at on- and off-sale alcohol retailers, 31 businesses were cited for selling alcohol to a minor.
In an effort to crack down on the availability of alcohol to minors, Omaha metro area law enforcement officers conducted compliance checks on January 4th and March 1-2 resulting in 31 (10%) of the 320 retail outlets checked in Douglas and Sarpy Counties being cited for selling alcohol to a minor. The percentage of businesses cited doubled from 5% in November. A summary sheet of the compliance check results and a full list of businesses checked can be found by clicking here .

"We're very concerned that the percentage of businesses selling to minors in the Omaha area has doubled since November," said Sgt. Jeremy Leifeld with the Ralston Police Department. "Underage drinking has many negative consequences for our communities and retailers can do their part by instructing employees to check ID, verify age and never sell to youth presenting a vertical ID."
14 (45%) of those businesses have been cited for selling alcohol to minors in the past -- nine of those within the last four years, which the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission (LCC) looks at when considering enhanced penalties:

  • A.B.'s 66, 4926 Underwood Ave, Omaha (9/15);
  • Asian Family Super-Market, 5916 Ames Ave, Omaha (4/17);
  • Hy-Vee Drugstore, 8404 N 30 Street, Omaha (7/18);
  • J C Mandarin, 843 N 98 Street, Omaha (7/15);
  • Kicks 66, 2505 Abbott Dr Plaza, Omaha (4/17);
  • Landing Zone, 7170 Bennington Rd, Omaha (6/15);
  • Mega Saver, 7210 Harrison St, Ralston (5/17, 8/14, 5/09);
  • Speedee Mart 2760, 100 W Centennial Rd, Omaha (1/16);
  • Super T's Liquor & Mini Mart, 3805 Lake St, Omaha (9/17).

If found guilty by the LCC, these businesses could face mandatory days of closure (no alcohol sales would be allowed) and days of suspension that could be paid off at $100 per day according to the LCC's penalty guidelines .

Also concerning is that nearly half (8 of 18) of the businesses cited for the first time received their liquor licenses within the last two years. If found guilty, these 18 businesses could face a 10- to 20-day suspension that could be paid off as a fine at $50 per day.

44 officers from the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, La Vista Police Department, Nebraska State Patrol, Omaha Police Department, Ralston Police Department and Sarpy County Sheriff's Office participated in the three-day, enhanced underage drinking enforcement effort.

To assist in reporting underage drinking or adults providing alcohol to minors, call the statewide tip line at 1-866-Must-B-21 (687-8221). It's anonymous and it's the right call. Individuals are urged to call 911 to report an underage drinking party in progress.

Heightened enforcements are supported by the Nebraska Department of Transportation - Highway Safety Office and Grants #93.959 and #93.243 under the Substance Abuse Prevention & Treatment Block Grant and Strategic Prevention Framework-Partnership for Success Grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Center for Substance Abuse Prevention through the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services and Region 6 Behavioral Healthcare. The Nebraska Department of Transportation - Highway Safety Office also funds the tip line. Project Extra Mile helped to coordinate the enforcement efforts.