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MoCo Liquor Control Board Defends Compliance Tests

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More than 1 in 4 alchohol purveyors tested in Montgomery County sold liquor to underage drinkers.
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More than 1 in 4 alchohol purveyors tested in Montgomery County sold liquor to underage drinkers.

A rise in underage sales of alcohol in Montgomery County is part of a nationwide trend, according to the county liquor control board.

Earlier this year, the county liquor control board released the results of its compliance tests, in which 28 percent of establishments that sell alcohol tested failed. A volunteer under the age of 21 was sent into the bar, restaurant, or store with their own ID to see whether they would get served. Those volunteers could not have facial hair, wear sunglasses, or have any other modifications that might make them look older.

That makes the tests pretty easy, but Kathy Durbin of the liquor control board says plenty still fail.

"We're trying to get it through their heads. What more can we do? Please check [IDs] because you're going to get young people in there," Durbin says. "Once you're known as a place that sells to people underage, you're going to get inundated."

The head of the liquor control board defends the tests, saying that making them tougher would send a message to businesses that they're trying to trick them, which would lead to resentment from the very people they want to work with to stop underage drinking.

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