Report on Lake County Winter Break Compliance Checks

A small group of kids in various sportswear pose together while smiling at the camera. Isolated on white.

Winter break from high school and college brings time for young people to get together at a variety of events and parties. Unfortunately, with these events also come concerns about underage drinking. Throughout this season, businesses throughout Lake County saw teens entering their stores attempting to purchase alcohol.

This was part of a county-wide effort to continue promoting positive practices by stores and restaurants that sell alcohol. Law enforcement agencies worked with local groups and young adults to see if they could purchase alcohol with identification that showed they were under 21. “Consistency from community to community and monitoring underage drinking issues will help us be successful in addressing this problem and saving lives.

Our desire is to see 100% compliance, but it is refreshing to see the majority of businesses realize the seriousness of this issue and did not sell alcohol to the underage participants.” commented Bruce Johnson, co-chairman of the Lake County Underage Drinking and Drug Prevention Task Force.

The agencies that participated were from Buffalo Grove, Deerfield, Grayslake, Highland Park,  Lake Bluff, Lake County Sheriff, Lake Forest, Lake Zurich, Mundelein, Round Lake Beach, Round Lake Park,Vernon Hill, Winthrop Harbor, and Zion. There were 267 and 13 violations reported from these municipalities.
 
Sale of alcohol to a person under 21 years of age is illegal under local and State laws and is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, fine or probation. Liquor compliance checks are part of an initiative by the Lake County Underage Drinking and Drug Prevention Task Force which was formed to combine the efforts of the Lake County Chiefs of Police Association and the Lake County After School Coalition in the prevention of underage consumption of alcohol.