Alcohol vendors urged to check IDs

A planned operation into the availability of alcohol to minors discovered a number of retailers did not request ID from potential purchasers.

As a result, the superintendent of the Garda District covering Listowel and north Kerry has urged intoxicating liquor licence holders, in the region, to be “more vigilant” when it comes to the sale of alcohol.

In a garda ‘sting’ operation conducted in recent weeks, in association with a community action group, it emerged several of the premises targeted did not seek ID and did sell drink to minors.

Supt Daniel Keane said the result was” very disappointing”.

It was very worrying, he said, nearly half those targeted on Saturday, May 13 failed the test and breached licensing law regulations, the senior garda said.

A number of premises and their managers run the risk of facing prosecution. Files are being prepared.

A mixture of off-licence type premises and pubs were targeted for the series of “Test Purchasing” checks by the north Kerry gardaí who were assisted by teenagers.

Seven premises were checked during the operation and one of those also included a petrol service station.

Three premises of the seven failed — they sold intoxicating liquor to minors.

“This operation was carried out in conjunction with the Listowel Community Action on Alcohol which is being piloted in Listowel as part of the Listowel Alcohol Strategy 2016-2018,” Supt Keane said.

A combination of beer and wine was sought by the minors who were carrying out the operation.

The teenagers were over the age of 15 and under the age of 18, as required under the regulations of the test purchase operations.

“Test Purchasing” operations have been carried out in the past and will continue to be carried out into the future, Supt Keane said.

All premises licensed for the sale of alcohol need to be mindful that they must not sell alcohol to minors and they must have processes and procedures in place to ensure that young persons are challenged on their age and must have appropriate identification to show that they are over 18 years of age before alcohol is sold to them,” Supt Keane noted.

In a court case in north Kerry last year, a retailer avoided a conviction for selling a bottle of rum to a 16-year-old girl who was part of a test purchase of premises in Listowel in 2015. The retailer’s case was struck out after it paid €5,000 to the court poor box. The person at the check-out believed the girl was 18 years and did not ask for identification, the court was told.

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