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Twin Cities Split on Alcohol Training Requirement

Bloomington requires it, Normal does not
NORMAL – Normal Police are no stranger to underage drinking so one group is pushing for the town to require alcohol training to the businesses that sell alcohol.

Heartland Community College offers Beverage Alcohol Sellers and Servers Education and Training or BASSET.

“They might be a difficult thing to spot but in the class we teach you some tips and trick son how to spot those fake ids and to be prepared for those situations," said Matt Graczyk who helps run the program.

Graczyk said a few local businesses might benefit from a class. In the past few months several businesses in Normal have been caught selling alcohol to minors. Those include the Marriot, Wal-Mart and Meijer Gas Station.

"The liability factor, no business wants to be fined for selling underage people," Graczyk said.

So far in October, Chipotle and the Pizza Hut on East College Avenue have also come under fire for the same charge and will both face fines.

"Bloomington has an ordinance that is already in place to set up for all their sellers, servers and bartenders to attend," Graczyk said.

But the town of normal doesn't have that ordinance, even though there are plenty of under aged college students around, eager to make a sneaky purchase.

"Anything that's going to show responsible service and it's going to be good for the business too," said Normal Police Chief, Rick Bleichner.

Bleichner said the course is something he would encourage. Police plan routine stings and don't want businesses make the same mistake twice.

"Throughout the course of the upcoming months when we do our stings that we'll certainly be checking to make sure that the practices that let to them having a violation occur aren't repeated in the future."

Normal's mayor said the council has talked about requiring BASSET training in the past.  He said they want to be on a level playing field with Bloomington. And even though it's not on any upcoming council agendas, he said it's a conversation the town will have in the future.
 
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