St. Joseph Businesses Pass Alcohol Compliance Test

Published 03/07 2014 06:06PM

Updated 03/07 2014 10:44PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) For nearly 10 years, Youth Alliance and the St. Joseph Police Department have worked together to stop businesses from selling alcohol to minors.

For the first time since 2007, every business in St. Joseph passed the alcohol compliance test.

"I'm really proud of our businesses in our community for stepping up and really taking this challenge kind of head on," says Robin Hammond, Executive Director of St. Joseph Youth Alliance.

Hammond says a lot of it has to do with the city now requiring all businesses to be licensed to serve or sell alcohol.

In order to get a license, businesses must go through training with the city.

Every person who handles alcohol is trained not only to ask for ID but how to read them and check them accurately.
"You'll see the store clerks or the servers asking for ID and that's a change from back in 2007. Gradually it's just become standard practice that if you look younger than 40, they're going to ask you for an ID," added Hammond.

Police say it's a step in the right direction but there's more to be done.

"We've got a lot of those businesses that sell alcohol outside the city limits, they're not required to go to the server training and we have a lot higher failure rate when we go out there and check those locations outside the city limits," said Sergeant Larry Stobbs with the St. Joseph police department.

The Midland Empire Task Force checks ID in 10 surrounding counties making it even harder for teens to buy alcohol.

Authorities say they will continue to work to keep teens safe.

"We're trying to dry up those sources because the binge drinking has become a big problem we have locally," added Stobbs.

The St. Joseph Youth Alliance recently received a grant to target youth substance abuse.

The agency is also working with county commissioners to require businesses in Buchanan County to have a license to sell alcohol.

To learn more about Youth Alliance, click here.

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