WAUSEON - Six Fulton County businesses were cited during May for selling alcoholic beverages to underage buyers, the Partnership for a Drug-Free Fulton County reported last week.
The six were among 30 businesses at which the Ohio Investigative Unit, a division of the Ohio Department of Public Safety, conducted compliance checks intended to coincide with proms and graduation ceremonies at county high schools.
Cited were the Buckboard Bar & Grill and the Circle K convenience store in Fayette; the Lyons Main Stop in Lyons, and Kam Wah Restaurant, a Shell convenience store, and Wal-Mart in Wauseon.
During the checks, a trained informant under age 21 attempts to buy alcoholic drinks while an agency officer waits nearby but out of sight to those inside the establishment.
The checks' purpose is to ensure that liquor-licensed retailers' staff require proper identification for liquor, beer, or wine sales.
The 24 businesses that passed the compliance checks included several that were cited during similar stings in November or December. None of those cited last month had recent prior violations.
"We are grateful to the 24 businesses who did not sell alcohol to minors during this last round of compliance checks, and for their commitment to the well-being of our young people," said Sharon Morr, chairman of Partnership for a Drug-Free Fulton County.
Violators face penalties ranging from fines to suspension or revocation of their liquor licenses, or no action at all could be taken in a given case. The Ohio Liquor Control Commission reviews each case and considers the possibility that some violations may result from store staff not being fully versed in state law requiring identification checks, according to Julie Hinds, an OIU spokesman.