50%+ Tri-Cities businesses sold alcohol to minors during sting


On Feb. 14, 10 businesses across Benton City, Kennewick, Pasco and West Richland failed liquor compliance checks conducted by the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB). Officers checked 19 businesses for sales/service of alcohol to minors.

The 10 businesses were cited for selling alcohol to investigative aides working with officers. Nine of the failed compliance checks were for selling beer or wine. One of the 10 licensees - Pasco Liquor Store - failed their compliance check by selling spirits to WSLCB investigative aides.

Compliance checks
The WSLCB and local authorities regularly conduct compliance checks of area businesses licensed to sell alcohol. These businesses include restaurants, grocery stores, liquor stores, neighborhood markets, taverns, wine bars and sports/entertainment facilities. Compliance checks are proven tools to reduce the sale of alcohol to minors.

Investigative aides assist officers with compliance checks. These individuals are from 18 to 20 years old. They must either present their true identification or none at all if asked by a clerk.

Liquor enforcement officers are empowered to issue Administrative Violation Notices to businesses that fail compliance checks. Fines or temporary license suspensions can be issued depending on the severity of the infraction or the frequency with which a business has been cited.

For a list of those who sold and did not sell to minors, follow this link.

The Washington State Liquor Control Board's mission is to promote public safety by consistent and fair administration of liquor laws through education, voluntary compliance, responsible sales and preventing the misuse of alcohol and tobacco.