Alcohol Consumption Amongst Underage Drinkers A Concern in Great Falls

Drinking concerns are always a tough subject to broach, as many feel it is a personal right to be able to crack open a cold one to enjoy.  Which is fine if you are of the legal drinking age in Montana.

However, underage drinking isn't something that should be taken lightly.  In Great Falls, it is one of the highest concerns for our law enforcement, and they take it incredibly seriously.  Compliance checks help with curbing those that seek booze out but aren't able to legally obtain it.

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Pass Or fail? Great Falls PD Alcohol Compliance Checks

Each year, the Great Falls Police Department conducts random alcohol compliance checks within the city limits.  These checks help to ensure that businesses that hold a liquor license are doing their part to curb drinking under the age of 21 years old.

Great Falls MT Police Department Facebook Page
Great Falls MT Police Department Facebook Page

Businesses are chosen randomly by the State of Montana, with checks conducted locally with STOP funds provided by the Alliance for Youth Substance Abuse stake holders.

Success Rates Take a Jump Since Last Check in 2023 in Great Falls

During the last compliance check in August of 2023, the compliance rate was 76% for those businesses checked.  During the latest check, conducted on April 11th, 2024, that compliance rate rose by 15% to 91%.

25 businesses holding liquor licenses were checked.  Of those, 3 were closed or not open to the public, 17 passed, and 5 failed.  During the check, volunteers were 19 or 20 years old and possessed a valid legal identification card or driver’s license. The volunteers showed their identification card to every server or seller who asked to see them.

Here is the list of those that passed the compliance check on April 11th, 2024:

  • 2J's Natural Food 105 Smelter Ave NE
  • 5 Cent Casino 211 NW Bypass
  • Aces Tavern 900 8th Ave NW
  • Albertsons 2250 10th Ave S
  • Applebee's 223 River Dr S
  • Conoco/Noon's 5600 3rd Ave S
  • Cowboy's Bar 311 3rd St NW
  • Eagle Falls Golf Club 29 River Rd N
  • Fortune Casino 722 6th St NW
  • Gold Dust Casino 770 6th St SW
  • Great Falls Flying J 3715 31st St SW
  • Halftime Sports Bar 1101 NW Bypass
  • Icarus 1200 10th Ave S
  • Kohoutek's State Liquor Store 1100 20th St S
  • Loaf N Jug 900 1st Ave N
  • Mackenzie River Pizza 500 River Dr S
  • Maple Garden 5401 9th Ave S
  • Noble's West Side Liquor Store 623 1st Ave NW
  • Players Casino 4305 10th Ave S

Those businesses that failed were as follows:

  • Albertson's 1414 3rd St NW
  • Hollis' Hi Ho 2600 10th Ave S
  • Players 2 Casino 2126 10th Ave S
  • Smith's Food 1601 Marketplace Dr
  • Taco Treat 2025 10th Ave S

GFPD stated that "the employees who sold alcohol to the underage buyers were issued a citation for violating MCA 16-3-301 (Unlawful Sales/Transfer to a Person under 21 years of age.)".

Great Falls/Cascade County Crimestoppers Most Wanted Criminals for April 2024

If you have information on anyone listed in the photo gallery, please contact Crimestoppers or your local authorities.

Gallery Credit: JD Knight

10 Years of Data: Montana's Alcohol Consumption

Montanans are known for drinking alcohol but what does the data say? These results come from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System questionnaire and include 10 years of responses.

SOURCE: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Population Health. BRFSS Prevalence & Trends Data [online]. 2015.

Gallery Credit: Ashley

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Gallery Credit: Nick Northern

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