The city of St. Peter and it’s Police Department have taken continuous reports of unlawful liquor sales in the community over the years, and they’re taking action to make it stop.
A letter, singed by St. Peter Chief of Police Matt Peters and city Administrative Secretary Cindy Moulton, went out to businesses this week reminding owners that Minnesota Statute specifically prohibits commercial entities from selling or giving out liquor without a license or permit. “The dispensing or display of alcoholic beverages in such a business setting without the proper license or permit may subject the business owner and employees to criminal charges, as well as liability issues.”
According to Moulton, the issue has not necessarily spiked recently, but “It’s been ongoing. In order to let everyone know, everybody was notified. We’ve been dealing with this for the last few years.” She noted that no individuals have been cited or charged related to the issue in that time period.
“But now nobody can come back and say, ‘We didn’t know that,’ because everyone has been notified,” Moulton said.
The problem is often attached to one-time events, like grand openings or special sale days that a business may offer. In correlation with those events, a glass of wine or a beer may be offered. The letter to business owners noted that such events need to have a caterer with an on-sale liquor license, and that caterer must be the one to dispense the alcoholic beverage and it must also be providing food.
Moulton said she couldn’t say whether offenders just didn’t know and could plead ignorance, or if some did know the law and chose not to follow. Regardless, the city has taken numerous reports, and the notification is a way to ensure business owners cannot claim a lack of education in the future.