File Photo – Lake Zurich Police Department | Photo: Village of Lake Zurich

Over a dozen establishments in Lake County were cited for selling alcohol to minors as a result of a countywide initiative this spring, officials announced.

The liquor compliance checks are part of an initiative by the Lake County Underage Drinking and Drug Prevention Task Force.

Steve Husak, Chairman of the Lake County Underage Drinking and Drug Prevention Task Force, said businesses throughout Lake County saw teens entering their stores attempting to purchase alcohol.

The effort was a continuation aimed at promoting positive practices by stores and restaurants that sell alcohol.

“The end of the school year includes memorable events such as prom and graduation. Unfortunately, these events can include concerns about underage drinking and substance abuse,” Husak said.

Law enforcement agencies worked with local groups and young adults to see if they could purchase alcohol with identification that showed they were under 21.

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The Highland Park Police Department checked 12 establishments and cited three.

The Kildeer Police Department checked 11 establishments but found no violators.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office checked 55 establishments and cited two of them.

The Lake Forest Police Department checked 14 establishments and cited four of them.

The Lake Zurich Police Department checked 21 establishments and cited one of them.

The Lincolnshire Police Department checked 18 establishments and cited two. The Riverwoods Police Department checked four establishments and cited one.

The sale of alcohol to a person under 21 years of age is illegal under local and state laws and is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine or probation.

“Consistency from community to community and monitoring underage drinking issues will help us be successful in addressing this problem and saving lives. Our desire is to see 100% compliance, but it is refreshing to see that 90% of the businesses that were checked realize the seriousness of this issue and did not sell alcohol to the underage participants,” Husak said.

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The task force was formed in 2007 to provide leadership and resources to reduce and prevent underage drinking and other youth substance abuse in Lake County.

The task force is made up of citizens including community members, school officials, parents, law enforcement personnel and other professionals.