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Our View: Compliance checks prove more work needs to be done

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Serving liquor to underage drinkers is against the law.

Establishments across St. Croix County that serve beer and hard liquor know that fact. There are no secrets when it comes to what's required of them when serving alcohol to customers.

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And while the vast majority of bars, stores and eating places in the region do a good job of asking for identification prior to serving patrons, far too many businesses still fail the regular compliance checks.

As an example, when the the St. Croix Underage Drinking Coalition completed its April checks, 16 establishments failed the test when they served drinks without checking the identification of underage customers.

More than 70 percent of the businesses checked passed the test, which is good news. That success rate is too low, however.

Every bar, restaurant or liquor store says they make every effort to keep alcohol out of the hands of minors. If that was the case, far fewer young people would be able to buy beer and liquor.

It's encouraging that compliance success rates have climbed higher in St. Croix County over the past few years, but anything less than 100 percent compliance is a societal failure in our book.

There's little that can be done to ensure that alcohol purchased by adults will never end up in the hands of underage drinkers. But at the very least, businesses should be shutting the door to illegal drinkers who come in their front door. Oftentimes all it takes is to check an ID.

We would encourage a renewed commitment by local businesses to do their part in cutting down on underage drinking -- especially as we head into the season of proms and graduations.

If not, local law enforcement should clamp down on those who are not taking the laws seriously enough.

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