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Forum News Service, Published February 25 2013

2 Grand Forks County businesses fail liquor checks

GRAND FORKS - Grand Forks County sheriff’s deputies cited two liquor dealers Friday for selling alcohol to underage customers in a federally funded sting at 11 establishments across the county.

According to a news release Monday from the sheriff’s department, undercover deputies went out with underage participants who tried to buy booze at 11 bars or liquor stores in the county.

Cliff’s Lounge in Gilby and the package store at the Superpumper convenience store and gas station at Baseview, near Emerado, failed the test.

The people cited are charged with a Class A misdemeanor of serving a minor, which carries a maximum penalty of a year in jail and a $2,000 fine.

According to the sheriff’s department, sentences in such cases typically involve fines of “several hundred dollars.”

The sting was funded by an Enforcing Underage Drinking laws Grant from the federal Office of Juvenile Justice. Since 1998, Congress has appropriated $25 million a year for the EUDG program of competitive grants to all 50 states.

The office says that studies show 15 percent of all liquor sold each year is consumed by underage drinkers, as in younger than 21.

In North Dakota, the federal money comes as a block grant to the state's Department of Human Services and is doled out to local law enforcement agencies by the state Highway Patrol, according to the sheriff’s department, which also congratulated the nine businesses that passed the alcohol compliance check.