Scott County cracks down on underage drinking

Scott County cracks down on underage drinking


6 News Reporter

HUNTSVILLE (WATE) - Scott County has begun cracking down on underage drinking.

On Friday night, sheriff's deputies, agents from the Alcohol Beverage Commission and representatives from the STAND Coalition (Students Together Allowing No Drugs) checked all 26 establishments in the county that offer alcohol.

Nine of those businesses were cited for serving alcohol to minors.

The list includes two restaurants, three bars and four convenience stores.

The county began the operation after receiving several complaints about underage drinking violations.

"I didn't realize it was nine places. That surprised me," said Bob Lynch, the manager of Cozy Inn, a bar that passed the inspection.

Lynch says he makes sure to check the ID of anyone who enters the bar. 

"Young kids, high school, they are pretty obvious. They look underage, have no ID or try to pass off their card on you" Lynch said. 

The Scott County Sheriff's Office says several new bars opened up in town recently.

The town of Winfield passed liquor by the drink in November.  

El Palacio Mexican Bar and Grill was the only establishment to apply for a liquor license.  

It was one of the restaurants cited, and it's also been a source of previous underage drinking complaints.  

Other bars in Winfield like the Dawg House, Bottoms Up and the Wooden Nickel have also been sources of complaints, according to the sheriff's office.

Two gambling machines hidden by the bar were also seized from the Wooden Nickel. The bar's owner was cited with possession of gambling machines.

"We have a big problem that we can't solve alone," said Trent Coffey, the executive director of the STAND Coalition.  

The organization serves as Scott County's drug commission.

It also offers responsible beer serving training courses, which Coffey says only two establishments in the county have taken advantage of.  

"Everyone up there is feeling their way, and got a lot of stuff to learn, we just want to be proactive and be there to help them and let them learn the responsible way," Coffey said.

The STAND coalition wants all Winfield beer license applicants to send employees through responsible beverage server training.  it already has a policy with the city of Oneida.  

The nine establishments that failed compliance have a court date scheduled for March 13 at 9 a.m.  

Establishments cited include:

  • Fill-N-Goods
  • Express Market & Deli
  • Dale's Shell Station
  • Lee's (Oak Grove)
  • Pizza Hut (Oneida) 
  • Wooden Nickel
  • El Palacio Mexican Bar and Grill
  • The Dawg House
  • Bottoms Up
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