For immediate release
Dec. 1, 2023
Media contact: Albert Lea Public Safety Director JD Carlson at 507-377-5665 or [email protected]
35 Albert Lea businesses pass compliance checks
On Nov. 28 the Albert Lea Police Department conducted its most recent wave of tobacco and alcohol compliance checks throughout the city. Officers supervised decoys under age 21 who attempted to purchase tobacco and alcohol products in 39 establishments, resulting in three violations. Employees of Green Mill, Skyline Liquor and Korner Mart conducted illegal sales. Police issued a warning to one additional establishment for an inoperable driver’s license reader.
To help prevent illegal sales to people under age 21, both the State of Minnesota provisional driver’s license and instructional permit show the date the holder turns age 18. In addition, licenses for drivers under age 21 use a vertical layout with a notation of “UNDER 21 until ##/##/####.” Licenses for drivers older than 21 use a horizontal layout.
A 1997 Minnesota state law requires law enforcement to conduct tobacco compliance checks at least once per year. Retail clerks who sell tobacco to minors receive a summons to court for the first violation, which carries a maximum penalty of not more than 90 days in jail and a fine of not more than $1,000. A second violation by the same clerk within a 5-year period is a gross misdemeanor violation. Businesses that fail tobacco compliance checks can receive administrative penalties of up to $250 and a 7-day suspension of their tobacco licenses.
Retail clerks who sell alcohol to those under age 21 receive a summons to court and are charged with a gross misdemeanor. In addition, the establishment is subject to having its alcohol license suspended. Continued violations may result in license revocation.
Employees and owners of establishments alcohol licenses are encouraged to attend the “Underage Access to Alcohol Server” training with the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division hosted by the Albert Lea Police Department. The most recent server training was held July 25, 2023.
The mission of the Albert Lea Police Department is to enhance the quality of life in Albert Lea by providing excellent public safety services through leadership, integrity, and in collaborative partnerships with our community.