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Three of 19 local liquor establishments fail alcohol compliance check

WILLMAR -- Sixteen out of 19 local liquor establishments passed a recent alcohol compliance check conducted by the Willmar Police Department, but three retailers failed the compliance check by selling liquor to someone under the age of 21.

The police department announced the results Friday of the latest round of alcohol compliance checks. The survey was carried out at 19 on-sale and off-sale businesses between April 19 and May 6.

The businesses that did not meet the compliance check were the Green Mill Restaurant, Café Persepolis and El Tapatio Restaurant.

The overall pass rate of this latest round of alcohol compliance checks was 84 percent. That's slightly lower than the 95 percent, or 19 out of 20, that passed a compliance check last fall -- but an improvement from October 2009, when seven out of 20 establishments failed the check.

The Willmar Police Department has been conducting regular compliance checks since 2001, when the city adopted an ordinance that establishes escalating penalties for businesses who fail the check by selling alcohol to a minor.

The project is funded by the Minnesota Institute of Public Health through the Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws Program of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

Another round of checks will be conducted later this year.

Free server training will be offered May 25 for employees of any establishment that provides alcohol. Sessions will be held at 2 p.m. and at 7 p.m. at the Willmar Fire Hall. For reservations, call 214-6700. About 30 servers are already signed up to attend, Willmar Police said.

Although the training is not mandatory, it can help employees and liquor establishments become better prepared to meet the statutory requirements regulating the sale of alcoholic beverages.

At two free alcohol server classes held last October, 21 people from seven local and area liquor establishments participated.