Two Sycamore businesses fail alcohol compliance check

Sycamore Police Department vehicle in Sycamore, IL on Thursday, May 13, 2021.

SYCAMORE – Sycamore Police Department found employees from two businesses sold alcohol to a person under the legal age during an alcohol compliance check conducted by the department at 21 Sycamore businesses on July 13.

According to a news release from the department, violations of municipal code were found at Jewel Osco, 220 W. Peace Road and Hy-Vee Gas, 2720 DeKalb Avenue.

Sycamore Detective Sgt. Joe Meeks said police conduct alcohol compliance checks by using someone under 21 who’s given money and then instructed to go try to buy alcohol from different area businesses.

The department didn’t try to play tricks on businesses by using a 19-year-old with a full beard, Meeks said.

“We are hoping for 100% compliance, meaning that every single business should be checking that person’s ID; and obviously in this case they’re under 21 – they should be refused service,” Meeks, said. “So every time we send our person in we are hoping they come out empty handed because that means that our local businesses are doing their part to ensure that we’re keeping products that are not designed for obviously minors, but then also anybody under the age of 21 legally, that they’re doing the right thing and not selling those products to people they shouldn’t be.”

The Jewel Osco and Hy-Vee Gas station employees who did sell alcohol to the minor were issued a city citation, Meeks said. While the compliance check didn’t indicate 100% compliance within the city, only 10% of the businesses checked on July 13 were found to be out of compliance; compared to the 28.5% of businesses that failed a tobacco compliance check in November 2022.

Meeks said it’s often difficult to ascertain if a compliance check was successful or not. On one hand, anything less than 100% compliance means work needs to be done, but catching a business out of compliance means there’s increased pressure to prevent future occurrences.

Meeks said he understands mistakes happen, and considers the results of the compliance check to be “great.”

“Obviously having two places that did not comply with what they’re supposed to be doing – I mean, you could say they failed on that regard; but the operation overall, I would say was a success. We’ve got that many [19] businesses that are doing the right thing. And then for the one’s that aren’t, our hope is that following that incident that hopefully it results in better awareness, better training conducted by that business for their employees to really hold people accountable,” Meeks said.