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Three businesses fail alcohol compliance checks

Three Hastings businesses failed alcohol compliance checks conducted by the Hastings Police Department Dec. 12, and the failure could mean a fine and liquor license suspension for one of them.

The police department last week checked a total of 11 businesses that sell off-sale liquor. Walmart Liquor Store, and both SuperAmerica locations failed to ask the underage person conducting the checks for identification and sold them alcohol.

The city previously fined Walmart Liquor Store $750 and suspended its liquor license for two days in January 2009 for failing two compliance checks within a 24-month period, one in Sept. 2007 and a second in Oct. 2008.

This most recent failure will be the second time the store has failed two compliance checks in a 24-month period, and the city will likely impose further administrative penalties on the store. The Hastings City Council decides those penalties.

It was the first alcohol compliance check failure in the last five years for the Super-America locations. First offenders can either pay a $300 fine or install an electronic ID reader, which costs about the same as the fine.

The employees who made the sales will be charged with gross misdemeanors, which can carry a penalty of up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

The eight businesses that passed the checks were Coborn's Liquor Store, Coborn's Grocery Store, Cub Discount Liquor, Cub Grocery Store, Walmart (main store), MGM Liquor, The Bottle Shop, and House of Wines.

Hastings Police Chief Mike McMenomy said the person they send into stores to do the checks doesn't try to present a fake ID, nor are they disguised to look older.