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Pueblo Police crack down on underage drinking, zero in on liquor - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Pueblo Police crack down on underage drinking, zero in on liquor stores

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Now that graduation and prom season are right around the corner, Pueblo Police want to be sure minors don't have easy access to alcohol.

Community complaints prompted police to zero in on liquor stores through an undercover sting and they're finding some serious problems.

The sting on Saturday involved sending an underage person into 17 randomly chosen liquor stores across Pueblo.

Eight of those sales went through without the cashier asking for an ID.

The volume of citations serving as sign to law enforcement that something has to change.

"We know that kids will eventually get their hands on alcohol if they really want to but we want to make it harder, " said Captain Kenny Rider with Pueblo Police Department.

"We don't want kids to get this alcohol very easily, they shouldn't be able to walk into a liquor store and just buy it over the counter."

John Ribal, the owner of Prairie Liquors, was disappointed at his clerk's oversight.

"I have told each of the clerks 'what's your number one job? what's your number one job? what's your number one duty?' ID, ID, ID."

Ribal told News 5 the clerk involved has more than 30 years experience and should have used a specific button on the cash register.
It's a button clerks push when they check an ID.

"Before the register can be opened did you check an ID or did you not check an ID?"

In light of the citation, he plans to increase the frequency of training for his staff, from four times a year to possibly six.

"It was not our intent and I say Prairie Liquors and the clerk's intent to sell," Ribal said. "I'm very saddened that it happened to me or that it happened to eight other stores."

Pueblo Police are not backing down, pledging to keep up those compliance checks until there are no more violations.

"Pueblo Police Department takes a hard stance on alcohol being sold to minors and we will be making sure these businesses comply," said Narcotics Detective Vince Petkosek.

The businesses where the violations occurred are as follows:

  • Eagle Liquor & Cigars – 1020 Eagleridge Boulevard
  • JR’s Liquor – 721 N. Grand Avenue
  • Loco Wines & Liquors, Inc. – 125 S. Santa Fe Avenue
  • Northern Avenue Liquors – 213 W. Northern Avenue
  • Norwood Discount Liquors – 2101 N. Norwood Avenue
  • Prairie Liquors – 1659 S. Prairie Avenue
  • Shanty Liquor – 2212 E. 4th Street
  • Village Wine & Spirits – 3037 N. Elizabeth Street
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