Undercover agents test state's new liquor laws

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by AMY MORENO / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on June 21, 2012 at 8:04 AM

Updated Thursday, Jun 21 at 8:04 AM

ABERDEEN, Wash. --  With spirits now sold in Washington's grocery stores and other similar places, the state will also expand their enforcement efforts.

Thursday night, agents employed the help of an 18-year-old female to see whether alcohol is more easily making its way into the hands of minors.

"She walks in and goes directly to the cooler to pick out the alcohol energy drink or flavored malt beverage," said enforcement officer Tony Masias.

Around the South Sound, the team started the night by targeting mini-marts near schools. Later they shifted their focus to the newest phase of enforcement, stores that just got the green light to sell liquor.

Of the 12 stores agents visited, 11 of them passed the test and did not let the teen buy alcohol. A mini-mart in Grays Harbor County sold the teen a malt beverage. The clerk was cited.

"For the most part, stores are doing a great job.  Last year, the compliance rate was about 77 percent and now there's increased access to liquor.  But there's also training and I believe the stores will do the best job they can," said Masias.

 

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