Thirteen businesses sold some type of alcohol or tobacco product to underage patrons during a
compliance check Tuesday.

The METRICH Enforcement Unit and the Ontario Police Department, with the assistance of staff members from Community Action for Capable Youth, conducted the alcohol and tobacco sales compliance operation.
People younger than 21 were taken to 90 businesses in Richland County, where they attempted to purchase alcohol or tobacco products. Ohio law forbids the sale of tobacco products to people younger than 18 and the sale of alcoholic beverages to people younger than 21.

Six employees sold some type of an alcoholic beverage and seven employees sold some type of a tobacco product to underage costumers, according to a news release. The 13 people who were cited will be required to appear in Mansfield Municipal Court or Shelby Municipal Court.

The businesses that sold alcohol beverages to underage people were:
• K & A Carry Out, 233 Lexington Ave., Mansfield
• Chugs, 77 S. Diamond St., Mansfield
• Valero Gas Station, 30 E. Cook Road, Mansfield
• Valero Gas Station, 1368 N. Main St., Mansfield
• Moto Mart, 1050 W. Fourth St., Mansfield
• Marathon, 149 Mansfield Ave., Shelby
The businesses that sold tobacco products to underage people were:
• Rite Aid, 1075 Ashland Road, Mansfield
• Dollar General, 1509 Ashland Road, Mansfield
• Sunoco Gas Station, 1257 Park Avenue East, Mansfield
• Marathon Gas Station, 1215 Lexington Ave., Mansfield
• Marathon Gas Station, 2424 Possum Run Road, Mansfield
• Shell Gas Station, 750 Ohio 97, Bellville
• Lexington Beverage Center, 27 Plymouth St., Lexington

The six alcoholic beverage-related cases will be reviewed by the Ohio Investigative Unit for further charges on the liquor permit holder of the business.

Authorities praised the 77 county businesses that were checked and were compliant for being vigilant in ensuring that their employees are checking identification of people purchasing alcoholic beverages and tobacco products.

Unannounced compliance checks will continue to be conducted in the future.

Originally published in the News Journal on April 27, 2016.