The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

October 14, 2012

Businesses’ sale of alcohol to those under 21 concerning

Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Tobacco and alcohol use by young people is an issue in Enid and around the country.

That’s why a recent compliance check of local businesses was good news.

PreventionWorkz sent youths ages 15-17 into 16 businesses to see which ones would sell them tobacco products. We’re happy to say all 16 refused.

Getting 100 percent compliance was a big deal. Counties that fall below 80 percent compliance could lose government funding.

A couple of similar compliance checks last month — these for alcohol sales — came up with mixed results.

Enid Police Department worked with PreventionWorkz to check 13 Enid restaurants that sell alcohol.

In that case, all 13 restaurants refused alcohol sales to the volunteers ages 18 to 20 who were sent in to buy alcoholic drinks.

That, too, was a great result.

Unfortunately, a compliance check earlier in September — this one checking stores for sales of low-point beer to minors — proved to be less than successful.

PreventionWorkz worked with Garfield County Sheriff’s Office on the beer check, going to 25 businesses throughout the county. Sadly, at 14 businesses, the underage volunteers were able to buy beer. In some cases, the clerks asked for identification and still made the sales.

That’s inexcusable.

Authorities will continue to periodically do these compliance checks. We hope store clerks continue to take care of things concerning tobacco sales, and restaurants continue the good job with respect to alcohol sales.

Stores in the county, though, need to do a better job of making sure they aren’t selling beer to minors.