Five Sunnyside businesses were cited for serving alcohol to minors last week, as a part of a city-wide alcohol compliance check.
A total of 43 businesses in Sunnyside where alcohol is either sold or served to the public were targeted.
Wait staff at each of the establishments who were caught serving alcohol to minors were charged with supplying alcohol to minors, which is a criminal offense, according to Sunnyside Police Sgt. Joey Glossen.
Glossen said the compliance check was conducted in partnership with the Washington State Liquor Control Board and Sunnyside United-Unidos.
The state liquor control board issued administrative violation fines to Sunnyside’s Pizza Hut, China Wok, Sakura Teriyaki and Sushi, Snipes Mountain Brewery and Restaurant, and Panda Garden, according to Glossen.
The restaurants may face monetary fines and possible suspension of their liquor licenses, as set down in the Washington Administrative Code.
Glossen said the sting used undercover minors, who were served alcohol at the various locations. The violations occurred because the servers did not request proper identifications of the patrons, Glossen explained.
The police and the liquor control board routinely check the servers at the various businesses to see if they have a mandatory alcohol service training card, which according to state law must be on display at their place of work.
When it comes to actually catching minors in possession of alcohol, a criminal charge usually follows.
A recent Healthy Youth Survey conducted in Sunnyside reveals that local youths appear to have few problems in gaining access to liquor.
The 2012 survey showed that at least 1.2 percent of Sunnyside eighth graders and 6.7 percent of 10th graders have reported purchasing alcohol from a store. Statewide, only 1.7 percent of high school sophomores say they’ve purchased alcohol, themselves.
Glossen said last week’s compliance check at the 43 businesses in Sunnyside was held as a part of a plan by Sunnyside United-Unidos to prevent alcohol sales to
He said Sunnyside police will be conducting random compliance checks throughout the year toward that goal.