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Store Owner Not Taking Chances In Liquor Stings

September 22, 2011, 6:03 PM by Nicole Winters

Store Owner Not Taking Chances In Liquor Stings
SIOUX FALLS, SD - One Sioux Falls business owner, who has failed liquor stings in the past, isn't taking any more chances when it comes to selling alcohol to minors. He’s doing that by taking human error out of carding.

If you pay with plastic at a Shop N Cart that's not the only card you'll have to swipe if you buy alcohol.

"It reads a bar code; it reads their birthday.  It tells us if they're old enough to buy alcohol or tobacco," Shop N Cart owner Dave Grevlos said.

After failing a number of liquor compliance checks, Grevlos invested in a machine that reads IDs, preventing workers from selling to underage buyers.

"What I was noticing is when we would fail, it wasn't because they were lackadaisical about carding.  They would card the person, but they would do the math wrong," Grevlos said.

The machine Grevlos bought when he last failed compliance nearly two years ago takes just a simple swipe and does the math of the person's age for the worker.

"Just put the ID in, green light or a red light and it works pretty easily," Grevlos said.

If a person comes in to buy alcohol, their ID is swiped and no light comes on, the workers are not allowed to sell them alcohol.

"They say, 'Sorry, I can't sell to you,'" Grevlos said.

Precautions go beyond just the card reader. Grevlos has a policy that anyone who looks under 50 and tries to buy alcohol in any of his stores get carded.

"Our policy used to be if you don't look 30.  Then we failed and my employee said they thought they looked 30, so that was my fault. So we went to 40.  Then I thought why not just jump to 50," Grevlos said.

So far, the extra precautions and tools are paying off, which is what Grevlos wants to see.

"Failing is failing; there is no excuse,” Grevlos said.

Three of the Shop N Cart stores have the card readers. Grevlos plans to add them to more stores in the future, if they continue to work well.

He also tests his employees by sending people into his own stores to buy alcohol who look under 30. If the employee doesn't card the person, they can be fired.

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