By Ivan Raconteur
Three of the four Lester Prairie establishments that sell liquor failed recent alcohol compliance checks, according to the Lester Prairie Police Department.
The checks were conducted Dec. 26.
The businesses that failed were the Dodge House, Lester’s Liquors, and Scooters Bar and Restaurant.
All of these establishments sold alcohol to an individual less than 21 years of age.
One Eyed Willy’s was the only Lester Prairie business to pass its alcohol check during this round.
Police Chief Bob Carlson expressed surprise at the results of the checks.
“These guys have all been really good for at least the last five years,” Carlson commented.
Section 6 of the Lester Prairie city code requires the police department to conduct two alcohol compliance checks per year at each licensed establishment.
This was the first violation of the ordinance for all of the businesses that failed this round of tests.
The civil penalty for a first violation is a $500 fine. The business owners have until Friday, Jan. 30, 2009 to pay the fines.
Any owner who wishes to dispute the amount of the fine must notify the city clerk in writing prior to Friday, Jan. 9. The owner will then receive a time slot on the agenda and have the opportunity to appeal the fine before the city council during the Monday, Jan. 12 council meeting.
Carlson said the most important issue behind the ordinance is preventing underage drinking.
“We need to keep it in check in this town,” Carlson said. “Underage drinking is a problem, not just in Lester Prairie, but across the county. This is one way to keep it from happening.”