March 20, 2002 11:00 pm

Nine of 10 businesses refused to sell alcohol to a minor during a recent random compliance operation conducted by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission in La Grande and Island City.

The area businesses that were checked and refused to sell to the volunteer minor decoy were Exxon Food Mart on West Adams Avenue, Chevron on Adams Avenue, Safeway, Albertsons, Eat & Run, Texaco, BP Food Mart, Shopn Kart and Rite Aid.

The only business that sold alcohol to a minor was Grocery Outlet in Island City.

The clerk that sold the alcohol was issued a citation and the business faces administrative sanction by the state commission.

Were pleased with the low number of sales during this check in Eastern Oregon, said Steve Brinkhoff, OLCC regional manager. Sales during these tests are higher than 50 percent in some areas, so we were glad to see that most licensees we checked in this area are following the law.

During the checks of businesses, underage volunteers between 18 and 20 attempt to buy alcohol to see if the clerks are properly checking identification and obeying state law prohibiting sales to anyone under age 21.

The underage volunteers are supervised by OLCC inspectors or other law officers, carry their own legal ID and are advised not to lie about their age if questioned.