KHQ Crime Tracker: On Patrol With The Liquor Control Board - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

KHQ Crime Tracker: On Patrol With The Liquor Control Board

Posted: Updated:
The LCB uses underage investigative aids in their compliance checks. The LCB uses underage investigative aids in their compliance checks.
  • Related LinksMore>>

  • Fugitive Friday

    Fugitive Friday

    Fugitive Friday with Kalae Chock. Bringing you the latest information about wanted suspects in the Spokane area.
    Fugitive Friday with Kalae Chock. Bringing you the latest information about wanted suspects in the Spokane area.
SPOKANE, Wash. -

It’s been almost two years since grocery stores in Washington started selling liquor. When voters passed Initiative 1183, opponents worried the privatization of alcohol would make it more accessible to kids. Now, almost two years after they started selling, the KHQ Crime Trackers went on patrol with the Washington State Liquor Control Board to see if Spokane grocery stores are selling their liquor to people under the age of 21.

The LCB uses underage investigative aids in their compliance checks. 18-year-old Ashley Belknap has been working with the LCB since she was 14, conducting tobacco compliance checks then. Now, she tries to buy alcohol from retailers when she goes undercover. Ashley is required to follow a protocol when she goes into a store. The LCB says she’s allowed to lie and say she is 21-years-old. However, she must give store clerks her real birth date and she provides her real driver’s license when they ask for her identification. The LCB says the setup allows retailers every chance to succeed and turn the underage buyer away. The LCB says that educating businesses that sell alcohol is just as important as checking-in on them to make sure they’re following the law.

The Crime Trackers and the LCB checked in on five Spokane grocery stores. The operation involves two vehicles. Ashley rides with an undercover LCB officer and Sergeant Jeremy Wissing follows. Wissing watches from the parking lot as Ashley enters the store and the undercover officer trails behind. The undercover officer is there to witness the attempted purchase and step in if a clerk becomes aggressive or upset with the underage buyer. If Ashley makes a purchase, Sergeant Wissing then moves in to issue the citation.

The LCB conducted compliance checks at Rosauers and Rite Aid in Downtown Spokane, Super 1 Foods and Trader Joes on the South Hill and the Safeway near the Gonzaga University campus on Hamilton. Each of the store clerks asked Ashley for identification and turned her away when they saw she is not of legal age to buy alcohol.

Ashley tells the Crime Trackers that the sale usually depends on the clerk behind the counter. She says she is more likely to make a purchase at a convenience store where the clerk is a young man. The LCB and Ashley end their day with two stops at Spokane convenience stores and in both of cases, the clerk sold alcohol to Ashley.

The LCB says stores have a 90% pass rate in compliance checks with the LCB. The undercover agent told KHQ that even one sale is one too many. He says he used to work as a traffic sergeant in California and has had to deliver 15 death notices to parents of children killed in crashes that often involved alcohol. He says this work by the LCB helps keep kids safe and away from the dangers of alcohol.

  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • Boil-water advisories issued in several eastern Washington areas after storms

    Boil-water advisories issued in several eastern Washington areas after storms

    Friday, July 25 2014 5:45 AM EDT2014-07-25 09:45:06 GMT
    SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. - The Washington State Department of Health believes some local water systems are at risk after severe storms moved through the area on Wednesday and they have issued some boil-water advisories. 
    SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. - The Washington State Department of Health believes some local water systems are at risk after severe storms moved through the area on Wednesday and they have issued some boil-water advisories. In Spokane and Pend Oreille counties, several water systems are under boil-water advisories:·
  • Progress being made on power outages

    Progress being made on power outages

    Friday, July 25 2014 4:12 AM EDT2014-07-25 08:12:58 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - As of 9:30pm Thursday, there were still more than 20,000 customers without power in the Inland Northwest.
    SPOKANE, Wash. - As of 9:30pm Thursday, there were still more than 20,000 customers without power in the Inland Northwest. In a press release sent out Thursday night, Avista said they have 68% of the nearly 40,000 customers who lost power during Wednesday's severe thunderstorm have power again. There were still more than 12,000 customers without power, however. Avista said rein...
  • Post Falls Police: missing 11-year-old boy found

    Post Falls Police: missing 11-year-old boy found

    Friday, July 25 2014 4:11 AM EDT2014-07-25 08:11:28 GMT
    POST FALLS, Idaho - The Post Falls Police Department is asking for your help locating an endangered 11-year-old boy.
    POST FALLS, Idaho - Post Falls Police say 11-year-old Jeremy Yaken was found early Friday morning,  and he is safe.
Powered by WorldNow

Features

  • More Features
  • Powered by WorldNow
    All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and Cowles Montana Media. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.