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Paynesville Press - May 30, 2001

Liquor ordinance adopted by council

By Linda Stelling

Businesses selling alcohol illegally in the city of Paynesville will now face civil penalties.

The Paynesville City Council adopted the alcoholic beverage ordinance on Wednesday night. The city has had an ordinance to regulate tobacco usage but never had one for alcohol.

"The ordinance sets specific guidelinesÉfor civil penalties in regard to the sale of on-sale and off-sale alcohol to minors," said police chief Tony Schmitt.

Burden for illegal sales is placed on the license holder as well as the person who sells the alcohol, Schmitt said. Any clerk selling alcohol illegally is subject to criminal prosecution.

The state does not require compliance checks on the sale of alcohol like tobacco, said Schmidtt, but the city wants to be proactive. He told the council the police could do undercover sting operations to check for illegal sales.

>City liquor ordinance
The new city liquor ordinance will provide guidelines and set up penalties for businesses that sell alcoholic beverages to minors or to another individual for resale.

Any individual clerk selling alcohol illegally shall be subject to criminal prosecution.

Resale of alcohol
Businesses cannot purchase alcoholic beverages from another retail business for the purpose of resale or sell alcoholic beverages for the purpose of resale. For an offense, the city may revoke the business license or permit, suspend the license or permit for up to 60 days, impose a civil penalty of up to $3,000 for each violation, or impose a combination of these sanctions.

Sale to minors
For the first offense, the licensee shall be subject to a civil fine of $500 payable to the city.

For the second offense, within two years of the first offense, the license shall be suspended for two days and the licensee fined $1,000. If a second offense occurs outside of two years from the first offense, it will be treated as a first offense.

On the third offense, if within three years of the second offense, the license shall be suspended for 10 days and the licensee fined $2,000. If a third offense occurs after the three-year period from the second offense, it will be treated as a second offense.

For a fourth offense, if within four years of the third offense, the license shall be revoked and the license holder will be fined $3,000.

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