SPRINGFIELD, IL -- Illinois State Police Director Terrance W. Gainer today announced the results of weekend Alcohol Countermeasure Enforcement (A.C.E.) details conducted statewide. The purpose of these details was to determine which establishments were selling alcoholic beverages to minors. The state police found that 139 of the 389 establishments checked sold to minors.
"More than a third of the stores checked sold to minors who clearly looked like minors and whose I.D.’s indicated they were minors," said Gainer. "At a time when seven young people aged 15 to 20 die every day in alcohol-related crashes nationwide, we need to insist that our liquor establishments do their part in observing the law."
Gainer said covert state police investigators observed minor participants attempt to purchase beer from establishments in all areas of the state. In instances where sales were made, investigators referred that information on to the county state’s attorney for prosecution.
"We are hopeful that enforcement of the law will become more consistent across the state," said Gainer. "We’ll urge prosecutors to follow up and sheriffs to keep an eye on establishments that sell to minors. This is a matter of crucial public safety and aggressive enforcement is one of the keys."
Another key, said Gainer, is for parents, teachers and other community members to make the errant establishments and local liquor control commissions aware of their objections to the illegal sale of alcohol to minors.
The Illinois Liquor Control Commission provided an officer to accompany each of the enforcement teams over the weekend.
"The Illinois Liquor Control Commission is dedicated to reducing the sale of alcohol to minors and to keep our communities safe," said Arabel Alva Rosales, executive director of the Illinois Liquor Control Commission. "We are committed in assuring that Illinois liquor licensees comply with the law. We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with the Illinois State Police in assuring that alcohol does not get into the hands of minors."
Gainer said the covert details would continue and enforcement would get stricter. "In the future, sales clerks and bartenders who sell alcohol to minors will be arrested, fingerprinted and booked. This crime has some very serious consequences and our approach will fit the crime," Gainer concluded.
The A.C.E. surveys are funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The grant is administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation Division of Traffic Safety.