Barton County cracking down on liquor stores

Liquor Store (KSN File Photo)

GREAT BEND, Kansas — An alcohol compliance sting in Barton County this weekend led to some troubling results that a task force is trying to combat.

42% of liquor stores in Great Bend failed a sting this weekend by selling alcohol to minors. The Alcohol and Drug Task Force in Barton County says that alcohol abuse with teens in the county is higher than the state average and so is the number of stores that sold to them.

“So with that in mind, we thought that is something that we need to address as a community, that underage drinking is against the law and it’s not good for your kids,” said Cyndee Christiansen with the Alcohol and Drug Task Force for Barton County.

The task force has a new campaign that will start before prom and hopes that it will spark a conversation with parents and their kids.

“You’ve got kids that are drinking then driving, then texting, snapchat, all while they’re behind the wheel of a car, everybody needs to be concerned,” said Christiansen.

The task force is putting posters all around town to warn kids about what would happen if they buy alcohol under age and some liquor stores are putting them into their windows to warn minors that their business won’t be welcome.

“Where they come in and they bring their friends and try to touch the alcohol and then they say ‘oh no he’s gonna pay for it’ so I’m like well you both have to be carded,” said Amber Clark, the owner of On the Rocks Liquor Store.

Clark says she’s heard of other stores nearby that have sold to minors but tells her employees to follow the rules.

“I’ve trained everybody to, anyone that looks under 35 we card even if we know that they’ve been in before, or even if they’ve been in a few times we still card them no matter what,” said Clark.

The Alcohol and Drug Task Force is also offering free classes to employees and owners of liquor and convenience stores to educate them about laws and how to detect fake I.D.’s.

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