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Most businesses pass tobacco sting

Tobacco compliance checks were recently completed by law enforcement agencies in Douglas County. Annual compliance checks for all licensed tobacco retailers have been required by the state of Minnesota and a Douglas County ordinance since 1997. T...

Tobacco compliance checks were recently completed by law enforcement agencies in Douglas County.

Annual compliance checks for all licensed tobacco retailers have been required by the state of Minnesota and a Douglas County ordinance since 1997.

The tobacco compliance check law is used to help keep tobacco products out of the hands of youth younger than age 18. The operation involves making use of an underage buyer to attempt to purchase tobacco products.

A business caught selling to an underage minor faces a fine of $75 while the clerk who made the sale faces a $50 fine. Repeat offenders may face higher fines and their license to sell tobacco in Douglas County is subject to revocation.

In 2007 a total of 50 Douglas County businesses were checked for compliance with the law between August and December.

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It resulted in eight failures. All eight failures were first-time offenses.

"The majority of businesses in Douglas County who sell tobacco products make it a high priority to keep them out of the hands of youth," said Jessica Anderson, Douglas County Public Health.

For those businesses who were found to be in violation of the law, there is help, Anderson noted.

Douglas County Public Health will be hosting a vendor education class for all retailers licensed to sell tobacco or alcohol in Douglas County.

The vendor education class offers tips for avoiding sales to minors as well as tips for detecting invalid IDs.

There is no fee for class attendance. The class will take place on Monday, February 4 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. in the Douglas County Library meeting room.

To register, contact Douglas County Public Health at (320) 763-6018.

Businesses that passed compliance checks in 2007 include: Anderson's Outpost, A Darling Gift Shop, Blades Store, Brophy Bay, Floyd's Outpost, Gas Mart of Carlos Corners, Jim and Judy's, Kensington Restaurant and Bar, Kensington Supermarket, Leaf Valley Mercantile, Nokomis Market of Alexandria, Melby Outpost, Miltona Outpost, Sheila's Place, Star Liquor of Carlos Corners, Garfield Pub, Cenex of Garfield, HiWay Amoco, Evansville Grocery, Evansville Spur, Jill's Gas of Nelson, Knotty Pines, Bob's Conoco, Casey's, Countryside Gas and Grocery, Downtown Liquor, Elden's Food Fair, Cenex of Alexandria, Freeway Tesserro, Jill's Gas and Grocery, Kmart, Mill's Gas Mart, Northside Fuel Express, Payless Liquor, Pete's County Market, Plaza Discount Liquor, S.A.V.E., Walleye Lodge Pub and all four Holiday Station Stores of Alexandria.

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