Columbia business fails underage alcohol check

An employee at “Whoa and Go” Break Time was given a citation for selling alcohol to a minor.
Cait Campbell / Graphic Designer

Eight of nine businesses in the Boone County area passed an alcohol compliance check conducted by the Boone County Sheriff’s Department on Friday, according to a news release.

To check for compliance, with funding from the Missouri Department of Transportation and Highway Safety Division and the Youth Community Coalition of Columbia, the department hired an undercover minor to attempt to purchase alcohol.

His valid state ID was denied at all but one business, “Whoa and Go” Break Time store on 6050 E. Highway AB.

“It’s usually anywhere from one to three businesses (that fail the compliance check),” Deputy Trevor Fowler said. “In the county they’re really good about carding for underage drinking issue.”

Richard Hart of the “Whoa and Go” Break Time store was issued a citation for selling intoxicating liquor to a minor, according to the release.

Fowler said the sheriff’s department first validates a minor as part of the alcohol compliance check process. After finding a minor between 18 and 19 years old, the minor is trained in how to enter the store, what to purchase and what to do when the clerk asks for identification.

“It’s a pretty straight forward operation,” Fowler said. “It’s a reminder to please be checking ID’s so we can keep this underage drinking problem down to a minimum.”

The minor must follow safety precautions, including being video and audio taped for the duration of their time in the store, Fowler said.

“They’ll go directly into the store, get the item and go straight to the counter,” he said.

Fowler said the Boone County Sheriff’s Department on average does two to three compliance checks per year. He said there are usually not problems with businesses, aside from the occasional business that does not deny the minor, resulting in a misdemeanor charge of sale to a minor.

“It’s basically just a reassurance and reminder to be compliant with the law,” Fowler said.

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