Most Dakota County businesses selling alcohol and tobacco passed compliance checks last year to ensure underage sales are not made.
Dakota County Public Health tracks data on tobacco and alcohol compliance checks conducted by law enforcement in the county. Most cities conduct their own compliance checks.
Businesses passed 88 percent of tobacco compliance checks in 2021, up from 74 percent in 2020. There were 277 total checks and 33 violations last year.
Alcohol checks across the county had a similar success rate — 87 percent of the 411 compliance checks passed. There were 53 violations for underage sales.
The Dakota County Sheriff's Office checks for underage alcohol and tobacco sales in rural cities and townships and the City of Inver Grove Heights. In 2021, 28 of those businesses selling tobacco passed a compliance check. Seven did not pass. Thirteen of 16 businesses checked for underage alcohol sales passed.
Businesses that fail a compliance check receive a citation as well as education on how to comply with tobacco and liquor laws.
The sheriff's office provides education and resources to businesses during compliance checks, including information sheets, display signs and reminders to workers about checking IDs.
Compliance checks can help reduce youth access to alcohol and tobacco.