84% Of Businesses Fail Underage Alcohol Compliance Check During Wine Walk

By: Staff Email
By: Staff Email

Reno, NV - Reno Police report that last weekend's wine walk resulted in an 84% failure rate for businesses.

Members of the Regional Street Enforcement Team (SET) conducted an underage compliance check operation during this past weekend’s River Walk District’s St. Patrick ’s Day Wine Walk. The operation was funded with federal grant funds secured by our partner; Join Together Northern Nevada (JTNN).

The Wine Walk website lists 31 participating businesses. The website explains that attendees can purchase a wine glass at any of the participating locations and receive a wristband to participate. Proceeds fund a different local charity each month.

In mid-January, Join Together Northern Nevada trained 48 employees from participating Wine Walk businesses and issued Alcohol Awareness Training cards to those attending. The St. Patrick’s Day Wine Walk compliance check operation was designed to be an “environmental scan” and no citations were to be issued. The goals of the operation were to determine the event’s level of compliance and to initiate and educational campaign.

During our operation a 20 -year-old female volunteer and a 19-year-old female volunteer attempted to purchase the event wine glasses at each participating location, however only two businesses of the 20 visited were selling the glasses.

The event wristband does not relieve the servers from verifying a customer is of legal age. The minors intentionally did NOT wear the issued wristbands during the operation in order to promote age verification.

The minor volunteers were served alcohol at 16 of the 19 locations. One of the locations had run out of wine and did not “pass or fail” the operation.

In addition to the alcohol compliance check, SET detectives verified employees possessed an Alcohol Awareness Training Card, required by state law.

All of the failing businesses were notified immediately about the failure. The Reno Police Department, in conjunction with Join Together Northern Nevada, will compile and share the information obtained during this operation with participating businesses prior to the next scheduled Wine Walk event.

Join Together Northern Nevada is hosting another Alcohol Awareness Training course on April 15, 2013, which is before the next Wine Walk scheduled on April 20, 2013, in an attempt to increase education and compliance during this event.

The City of Reno Code Enforcement and Business License Division will be sending out Notice to Comply forms to the failing businesses this week. The notice will inform businesses that citations will be issued on future failures with the following penalties for infractions within a 12 month period:

1st offense: $250.00 fine

2nd offense: $500.00 fine

3rd offense: 30 day suspension

These regulations can be found under Reno Municipal Code 5.07.200(d)(e)

It is the goal of the Reno Police Department, City of Reno Business License/Code Enforcement Division, and JTNN to create a fun and safe environment during Wine Walk events while being diligent in serving only those subjects who are 21 years of age or over.

The following businesses failed the operation by serving alcohol to both of the minors, unless noted:

Se7en Tea House and Bar, located at 148 West St.

Bar, located at 211 West 1st St. *served one minor/denied service to the 19 year old*

Saya Fine Art, located at 17 S. Virginia St.

Niko’s Greek Kitchen, located at 148 West St.

The Corner Café, located at 100 West 2nd St.

Eye Candy Salon, located at 122 West 2nd St.

Imperial Bar, located at 150 North Arlington Ave. *

Chocolate Bar, located at 95 North Sierra St.

Ole Bridge Pub, located at 50 North Sierra St.

Silver Peak Grill, located at 135 North Sierra St.

Campo, located at 50 North Sierra St.

Jungle Vino, located at 246 West 1st St. *also sold beer*

Five Star Saloon, located at 132 West St.

West Street Wine Bar, located at 148 West St.

Z Pie, located at 138 West St.

Eye Candy Salon, located at 122 West 2nd St.

The following businesses passed the compliance check operation:

Reno eNVy Booth, located at 135 North Sierra St.

The Waterfall bar, located at 134 West 2nd St.

Sierra Tap House, located at 252 West 1st St.

SET and JTNN anticipate conducting similar operations during future Wine Walk events; however appropriate enforcement action will take place at any venue who fails in the future.

The criminal penalty for serving alcohol to a minor consists of a set fine of $500.00 to the person serving the alcohol.

The penalty for not having an Alcohol Awareness Card is an administrative violation and the set fine for the first offense is $500.00.

The Reno police department would like to thank the businesses who successfully passed the compliance operation for their diligence and ensuring underage minors were not served alcohol.


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