Meridian residents pass alcohol compliance check for teens
Meridian Police are happy to report that a weekend alcohol enforcement operation yielded no tickets or arrest.
The Meridian Police Department had over 40 people refuse to buy alcohol for teenagers.
Officers sent the teens to numerous locations undercover to see if adults would be willing to buy them alcohol.
“We are very proud of the community members who refused to buy alcohol for underage teens,” said Meridian Police Chief Jeff Lavey. “Underage drinking is a problem every community struggles with but in Meridian community members and businesses are making it harder for kids to get their hands on alcohol. It is a huge step in the right direction.”
According to police, four years ago, when Meridian Police started conducting alcohol enforcement, 80% of the liquor stores, restaurants, bars and citizens who were asked to buy for minors failed compliance checks.
In 2009, the Meridian Police Department received a federal Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws Grant through the Juvenile Department of Corrections. The money has been used to create an alcohol enforcement team and hire teenagers to participate in regular operations. Since receiving the grant, officers have seen a steady decrease in licensed establishments serving people who are underage and individuals willing to buy alcohol for youth.
During the most recent operation, many people told the teenagers they wouldn’t buy them alcohol because they knew someone who got in trouble for buying alcohol for a minor.
Anyone who is caught buying or serving alcohol to a person who is underage could face a $1,000.00 fine and/or imprisonment in the county jail not to exceed one year.