McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

October 21, 2013

Alcohol-compliance checks turn up 7 noncompliant

By Cass Rains, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, ABLE commission and PreventionWorkz conducted alcohol-compliance checks last week, finding more than 30 percent of locations checked did not follow the law.

The checks were conducted Thursday throughout Garfield County. Deputy Dariel Momsen, with the sheriff’s office, PreventionWorkz’ Meri Spurlock and ABLE commission Agent Gina Pratt checked 19 locations and found seven to be noncompliant.

Momsen said the primary goal of these operations is to prevent underage youths from using alcohol.

The employees of the convenience stores who sold low-point beer were issued a citation for selling/furnishing beer to a minor and were given a court date for Oct. 31.

Those who sold liquor received an administration citation individually. If the establishment was a club, the business and employee were issued an administration citation from the ABLE commission.

Sheriff Jerry Niles said it is important to note those cited by ABLE also could be cited through district court, and any person who sells or furnishes alcohol to any person under the age 21 will be charged with a felony.

Those locations checked and found in non-compliance are:

• Brookside Liquor, 822 S. 30th, cited by ABLE.

• Norma J’s Liquor, 301 S. 30th, cited by ABLE.

• Rock Island Liquor, 2705 Rock Island, cited by ABLE.

• Club 30, 901 N. 30th, employee and business cited by ABLE.

• Chen Garden, 4125 W. Garriott, cited by Garfield County.

• Lahoma Corner Store, 15000 W. U.S. 412 in Lahoma, cited by Garfield County.

• Pete’s No. 2, 510 N. 30th, cited by Garfield County.

Locations checked and found compliant were Callahan’s, Sharkeys, Oak Mart, Jack’s Barn, Lahoma Stop, Bobs Bar, SpringHill Suites, Pizza Hut, Chili’s Bar and Grill, The Q Spot and Ma and Pa’s.

People who start drinking before the age of 15 are four times more likely to become alcohol dependent at some point in lives.

In Garfield County, 71 percent of 12th-graders reported they first began drinking at the age of 14. Forty-two percent of 12th-graders reported they drank alcohol in the past 30 days, according to the Oklahoma Prevention Needs Assessment for 2012.

Of 12th-graders surveyed in Garfield County, 24 percent reported binge drinking (having five or more drinks in a two-hour period) in the past two weeks, according to the OPNA. Nineteen percent reported drinking and driving in the past 30 days, and 28 percent reported riding with a drinking driver in the past 30 days.

In Garfield County, 77 percent of 12th-graders reported they get alcohol from someone over the age of 21, according to the OPNA.

Alcohol abuse in Oklahoma is linked to domestic violence, sexual assault, risky sexual behavior, unplanned pregnancy, crime, poverty, unemployment, chronic liver disease, car crashes, injuries, mental illness and a variety of other medical problems.

Spurlock, who is a certified prevention specialist, said anyone interested in receiving Responsible Beverage Service and Sales training can contact her at (800) 231-3991. The training is provided free of charge and funded by Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.