Sting aims to cut back on businesses selling alcohol to minors

The Lake Oswego Police Department will soon send underage decoys into area businesses to see whether they're able to purchase alcohol.

The operation aims to reduce the number of alcohol-related incidents involving minors by cracking down on businesses that don't enforce laws helping to prevent underage drinking.

Businesses licensed to sell alcohol are required to request identification from someone buying it if the person appears to be younger than 26 years old, and they could be cited for breaking the law if they distribute, sell or otherwise make alcoholic beverages available to a person who is not 21 years old.

The operations will be conducted between May 15 and Aug. 31 in multiple locations throughout the city, according to the police department.

While the department noted local businesses have performed well during similar operations in the past, the city hopes for a 100 percent compliance rate this year.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, alcohol use by people younger than 21 is a major public health problem. Alcohol is the most commonly used drug among youths in the United States and is responsible for more than 4,700 deaths annually among underage youths.

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