9 local restaurants busted for selling booze to minors

By: KKCO Email
By: KKCO Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo (KKCO) The Grand Junction Police Department, Mesa County Sheriff's Office, Fruita Police Department, and State Liquor Enforcement conducted the compliance checks.
In all, 111 total businesses were checked. 9 were caught selling alcohol to minors. Law enforcement has what's called a "minor operative", or someone under 21, go into the establishment and ask for alcohol. Police tell us if an employee of the business asks the minor for their id, age, or birthday; they must tell them the truth. The undercover minor can't provide a fake id or lie.

The businesses who failed compliance checks Wednesday night were Top East restaurant, Horizon Liquor, Fin's Grill, The Winery restaurant, Taqueria Valparaiso, Pete's House of Spirits, El Tapatio (Grand Junction location), Chin Chin, and Clifton Liquors.

"The people that actually did the selling will get a criminal summons where they have to appear in court, and the business that owns the liquor license; that information is passed on to the either the city or the state liquor board," says Kate Porras, public information officer with the Grand Junction Police Department.

We contacted all nine establishments. None were interested in doing an on-camera interview with us. Some did say it happened, it was a mistake, and it won't happen again. None of the businesses told us what will happen to their employee who sold the alcohol to the minor.

Officials tell us none of the 9 businesses have been caught selling alcohol to minors in the past year.

In March, a compliance check was performed on 180 businesses. 7 were busted for selling alcohol to minors.

The operation was funded by the "Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws Grant," which was awarded to the Grand Junction Police Department in October of last year.


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  • by HUH on Jul 15, 2012 at 11:55 AM
    Reality, I am not that old! Recent studies are not seeing what I do first hand on a daily basis, thank you for the " I believe everything I see on the internet" lesson. You prove what we already know what marijuana does to the brain over time...Anyway, the point of the story is that establishments should be more vigil about carding for alcohol.
  • by reality on Jul 14, 2012 at 12:30 PM
    HuH?? Mary Jane? Really now, did you just wake up from the 60's or something? Again I have to spoon feed you old farts. Resent studies released from top automobile insurance companies beg to differ with your conclusion of marijuana impaired drivers. It seems the have found no evidence of increased fatalities in people who use marijuana. In fact it's quite the opposite, these studies found drivers impaired on marijuana only drive safer than drivers with no impairment at all. Fact: There is no compelling evidence that marijuana contributes substantially to traffic accidents and fatalities. At some doses, marijuana affects perception and psychomotor performance – changes which could impair driving ability. However, in driving studies, marijuana produces little or no car-handling impairment – consistently less than produced by low to moderate doses of alcohol and many legal medications. In contrast to alcohol, which tends to increase risky driving practices, marijuana tends to make subjects more cautious. Surveys of fatally injured drivers show that when THC is detected in the blood, alcohol is almost always detected as well. For some individuals, marijuana may play a role in bad driving. The overall rate of highway accidents appears not to be significantly affected by marijuana's widespread use in society. http://norml.org/library/item/marijuana-and-driving-a-review-of-the-scientific-evidence
  • by HUH?? on Jul 14, 2012 at 10:13 AM
    Its not entrapment if you break the law. DUH!! I've seen drivers on Mary Jane and trust me they aren't any safer. When an impaired driver mows down you or loved one, you will be crying that the cops should of done something..WOW!!!!
  • by ugh on Jul 13, 2012 at 11:24 AM
    Shouldn't there be more focus on like meth-heads and heroin and violent offenders then some underage narcs trying to buy booze. And Luke your an idiot.
  • by Don Location: GJ on Jul 13, 2012 at 11:21 AM
    This is entrapment. They pick a person who looks older and send them in. I saw them do it to Boomers. They sent eight people to the door and flooded the scene. They minor had to squeeze through the others and ignore the pleas of the person checking IDs at the door to get to the bar and order. The bartenders had reason to believe he had been screened but they had to go to such extraordinary extents just to get him in. THAT WAS entrapment because they had to work so hard to defeat the system that had been set up to check IDs. If they walk in and find someone there that has been admitted, they should be busted. This way of sending in a plant, particularly when they have to work so hard to get around the system, is entrapment and should stop. Also, when asked to see their ID to see if they really are underage, the police refused to show it. How do they know the perp is underage? Gestapo tactics!
  • by Minor Location: Grand junction on Jul 13, 2012 at 10:33 AM
    I used to be an undercover minor-I would go into a bar or store go to the cash register, if they asked for my I'.D, they passed. If they completed the sale, they failed. There was no begging or pleading for the sale, it was simply a matter of asking for an ID. You cannot lie about your age, or carry an I.D. while you are doing the investigation? Simply asking for identification prevents both the server and the establishment from getting a citation. It is far from entrapment because it is SO simple to pass the compliance checks! They are enforcing the law just as a police officer clocks traffic speed. Whether you disagree with the drinking age, or the use of other substances is irrelevant. The fact is, if you are under 21, you cannot be served alcohol.
  • by guest Location: clifton on Jul 13, 2012 at 09:08 AM
    How hard is it to ask to check the ID? It would only take you 5 extra minutes, if that. It is the servers fault if the under age kids get in a drinking and driving accident. The server failed to do their job and should be held accountable for it.
    • reply
      by Don on Jul 13, 2012 at 11:23 AM in reply to guest
      Five minutes per customer? You have to be kidding! No business can succeed if it takes that long.
  • by Taxedpayer Location: Grand junction on Jul 13, 2012 at 05:48 AM
    THINK----EN-TRAP-MENT
    • reply
      by Anony-mouse on Jul 13, 2012 at 07:13 AM in reply to Taxedpayer
      ...and how did they "enduce" the businesses to sell to underage drinkers? All these establishments know that they should check ID.
      • reply
        by Knowthelaw on Jul 13, 2012 at 08:01 AM in reply to Anony-mouse
        Check state law, it is illegal if you are under 21 to atempt to bye alcohol. So it does seem to skirt that line between entrapment and law enforcement.
    • reply
      by Minor on Jul 13, 2012 at 10:36 AM in reply to Taxedpayer
      I was an undercover minor. There is no flirtation, begging, or arguing for the sale of alcohol. Servers must simply ask for an ID, that is it. If they cannot ask, "may I see your ID" they fail. It really is not that difficult.
      • reply
        by Minor on Jul 14, 2012 at 12:50 PM in reply to Minor
        I was a minor too...I was blond, cute, had a little cleavage, I was drunk, and the Fruita cop let me go....now I'm dead.
        • reply
          by Minor 1 on Jul 14, 2012 at 08:09 PM in reply to Minor
          The young woman you are referencing was drinking at a party. She was not served alcohol in an establishment.
  • by Good Johnny Location: GJ on Jul 13, 2012 at 03:56 AM
    Well, at least they weren't smoking MARIJUANA! They should have just gone to the D.A.'s house: http://www.nbc11news.com/home/headlines/83868607.html
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jul 13, 2012 at 06:09 AM in reply to Good Johnny
      That's old news you are linking, from 2 years ago. Get over it and yourself.
      • reply
        by Good Johnny on Jul 14, 2012 at 12:46 PM in reply to
        Which means the 26 teens who were at Peter Hautzinger's house drinking underage are probably now 19 years old instead of 17....I sure hope none of them are smoking marijuana. That could be dangerous.
    • reply
      by Luke on Jul 13, 2012 at 08:44 AM in reply to Good Johnny
      If they make MJ legal, things will be far worse than selling alcohol to minors.
      • reply
        by Luke lies on Jul 13, 2012 at 09:06 AM in reply to Luke
        Hey fool, how many death from drunk driving just in the last 2 years, at least 6 just in the local area, how many from Pot? ZERO...........
        • reply
          by Old Timer on Jul 14, 2012 at 05:27 AM in reply to Luke lies
          Maybe no overdoses but how many marijuana impaired drivers have died.....?
        • reply
          by Luke lies on Jul 14, 2012 at 06:43 AM in reply to Luke lies
          Old Timer, your showing your age and stupidity! 70 years of lies has taken it's toll on you! Again the answer to the question is still ZERO and you could never overdose on marijuana unless you could eat your body weight in pot in 15 minutes, unlikely if not imposable. You see old one, reality has given you the one up. Use this new tool called the internet and the truth will set you free, stop your lies and do some research! Don't be just an old fool, educate yourself.
        • reply
          by Luke on Jul 14, 2012 at 08:40 PM in reply to Luke lies
          People driving under the influence of MJ have killed two people and one of the persons dog in the last two years, but, I know, you potheads have an extremly short memory, must be the pot you keep smokin.
        • reply
          by Me on Jul 16, 2012 at 05:47 PM in reply to Luke lies
          "New tool" the internet? Not so new. "the truth will set you free" yes, because we all know that you can't put anything on the internet that isn't true. For every article you find stating that mj is the miracle drug for everything, you could find an article stating that it is the drug of choice of the devil. So, it's all in what you WANT to believe. So, calm yourself with your wonderful internet education. Just because you read it on the internet doesn't necessarily make it true.
  • by concerned on Jul 12, 2012 at 08:08 PM
    Not suprised that horizon liquor failed
    • reply
      by Anony-Mouse on Jul 13, 2012 at 07:11 AM in reply to concerned
      There are 4 places that were hit last year too. Obviously, it works *really* well, to have them spend money (and writing citations, or whatever they do) trying to catch businesses doing this .
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