WINSLOW — Police are using a grant from Healthy Northern Kennebec to take preventive measures aimed at reducing underage drinking.

On Tuesday, an undercover officer and a 20-year-old volunteer went to each business in Winslow that serves or sells alcohol to do compliance checks. Most businesses asked the underage volunteer to show identification, and they passed the compliance check.

Three businesses — The Point Afta, Asian Cafe and J&S Oil on Bay Street — failed the check, but this was “more of a courtesy,” police Chief Shawn O’Leary said.

Once the volunteer was served, another police officer who was in uniform went into the business and explained what they were doing.

“This is more of, kids are back in school, there are high school football games and school events,. We want to be proactive,” O’Leary said. “We want our businesses to know they should always card people, no matter how old they look.”

Police will continue doing the checks, and if those three businesses fail again, they will be cited for administrative violations, which include fines.

The $2,000 grant the department received in June covered the cost of overtime for the officers who did the compliance checks. Another officer also ran some “party patrols,” going into back areas of town to see whether any underage people were drinking there.

Compliance checks are the best way to curb the problem of underage drinking, however, O’Leary said.

“If the businesses in Winslow do not serve underage drinkers, then that’s a win for us,” he said.

Madeline St. Amour — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @madelinestamour


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