Police raid several local bars looking for underage drinkers
Posted: Jan 17, 2012 2:22 AM EST | Updated: Nov 5, 2014 5:21 PM EST
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Several local bars may have to start cracking down on underage kids trying to get into their bars after being raided by police over the weekend.
Police cleared out four of the seven bars targeted while searching for underage drinkers, but this time around police say the numbers were encouraging. According to police, only five people were cited for drinking under the legal age.
Barbie Wells has been working behind the bar at Bleachers Pub and Grub in Mishawaka for seven years now and was working Friday night when police stormed the bar looking for people underage. "I told then we have cracked down on underage drinkers obviously and with Steve at the door, good luck," says Wells.
A confident Wells was right, police did not find one underage drinker inside the packed bar that night. She says that is because everyone working at the pub would not risk their jobs just for an extra few dollars in tips.
"I have the chance of losing my license and this is my only form of income, so I can't afford that," says Wells.
The fines and penalties for both bartenders and the bars themselves have grown more severe with time, which is just one of the many factors police say contributed to the low number of citations issued during the raid.
Along with Bleachers, police also raided popular bars like Brothers Bar and Grill and C.J.'s in downtown South Bend. In the four bars police visited, only five people were picked up for being underage and only two actually had fake I.D.'s.
"You have to look at the I.D. That's what it comes down to, really looking at the I.D. and a lot of people don't - to see if it's not the right picture, height or weight," says Wells.
The last time police ran a raid to check how well bars were monitoring who was coming in and out of their bar around 20 people were cited, so police say the crackdowns are working.