Two gas stations fail annual alcohol compliance checks

Mackenzie Bodell, Senior Reporter

Underage alcohol sales caused two gas stations in the Ames community to fail the annual alcohol compliance checks.

Overall, 79 establishments were checked by the Ames Police Department, with two being cited under Iowa Code Section 123.49(2)(H) for selling alcohol to underage individuals.

The two locations were the Kum & Go at 203 Welch Ave. and the Casey’s at 428 Lincoln Way.

The employees that sold alcohol to the underage individuals were fined $796.75, which included the surcharge and court costs.

Along with the fine, the establishment’s liquor license may be affected when it goes up for renewal.

“There’s nothing set in stone,” said public information officer Sgt. Amber Christian said. “If you get hit twice or more, that’s when it starts to impact that liquor license.”

Ames PD makes sure to hit all establishments that sell alcohol, including bars.

The department works with an underage person to go in and attempt to purchase alcohol, also known as a sting. While optional, the department strives to do these checks once a year. These annual checks typically occur within the first few months of the year.

Ames is a college town, so the department focuses heavily on these checks.

“We’ve always been focused on this area because we are a town that has a lot of bars and college life,” Christian said. “We do have the responsibility to ensure the safety of the community.”

This year, the two failed compliance checks occurred in February and March.

In 2021, the department saw 12 failed checks compared to only two this year.

In 2022, the department partnered with the Alcoholic Beverage Division and did three separate compliance checks, which happened in February, March and October. In February, they checked five locations and one failed. Then, in March, they checked eight locations and two failed. Finally, in October, the department checked 13 locations and five failed.

The department was short-staffed in 2022, and they were unable to put out a press release for that year’s annual compliance checks.

A link to the 2023 press release can be found on the City of Ames website.