The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

May 30, 2013

Compliance concerns: PreventionWorkz worried some alcohol sales I.D. checks aren’t being made

By Robert Barron, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — A local prevention organization is concerned about the lack of compliance among establishments that sell alcohol.

PreventionWorkz, which is concerned with preventing underage drinking, said some establishments that have been checked, fail to check identifications 50 to 80 percent of the time.

Garfield County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Daniel Momsen, staff and volunteers of PreventionWorkz and members of Garfield County Drug and Alcohol Coalition conduct periodic checks of establishments that sell alcohol. During a recent check of 23 establishments, there was an 87 percent compliance rate, according to Sean Byrne, executive director of PreventionWorkz.

“The great news is there was an 87 percent compliance rate,” Byrne said. “Out of 23 retailers, only three sold.”

Byrne said the majority of retailers continue to do the right thing. However, some of the retailers are repeat violators who fail to comply with the law many times. In the past six months, two retailers only have a 50 percent compliance rate. Lucky Food Mart, 802 E. Broadway, failed three out of six checks, and Mac’s Mart 2, 431 E. Broadway, failed two out of four checks.

More concerning, Byrne said, are two stores that have failed 80 percent of compliance checks. Main Street Mini Mart, 1602 E. Maine, failed four out of five, and Pete’s Farmer’s Market, 2006 N. Grand, failed four out of five checks.

“Obviously, the concern is that something is not working,” Byrne said. “Either they’re not concerned about complying with the law, or somehow they aren’t being trained.

“We don’t know what the problem is. Obviously, there is a problem.”

When the violation rate is as high as 80 percent, there is a serious concern, he said.

“One of the things we focus on, the vast majority of retailers are doing it right. It’s the very, very small percent that continuously do the wrong thing that continually makes problems for everyone else,” Byrne said.

Those stores sell low-point beer and not liquor. For that reason, their licenses are handled through Oklahoma Tax Commission and not the ABLE Commission, Byrne said.

“The Oklahoma Tax Commission’s alcohol and tobacco licensing division has been notified of the violations,” he said. “Whatever action needs to be taken regarding their state license to sell, would be handled through them.”

Byrne said the ABLE Commission and PreventionWorkz offer free Responsible Beverage Sales and Services Training through funding provided by Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. The next training will be 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 26, at Dusty’s Place, 415 S. Van Buren.

During the May 17 compliance checks, establishments that did not sell alcohol to minors were: Rib Crib, 4901 W. Garriott; Proof Wine and Spirits, 2109 W. Garriott; J.B. Convenience Store, 613 S. Johnson; Sooner Stop, 1907 W. Randolph; OnCue Express, 1005 E. Garriott; Lucky Food Mart, 802 E. Broadway; Mac’s Mart, 431 E. Broadway; Tammy’s Store, 904 N. 10th; Grand Central Station, 2305 N. Grand; and Best Shell, 2318 N. Grand.

Also, Oak Mart, 525 N. Van Buren; One Stop Shop, 424 N. Van Buren; J Store No. 1, 1101 S. Van Buren; Cigarette Outlet, 1309 S. Van Buren; Henry’s Quick Trip, 220 Kansas, Drummond; Turkey Creek, 212 E. Lahoma, Lahoma; Lahoma Corner Store, U.S. 412, Lahoma; and Lahoma Food Mart, U.S. 412, Lahoma.