I have been reading with interest the recent stories and letters concerning the Washington State Liquor Control Board’s sting operations. I’ve worked in the restaurant and bar industry for more than 20 years and I think people are overlooking a major factor in regard to the negative effect these cases have. When a server is tricked into serving a minor, they can get convicted of a crime, usually charged with contributing to a minor. Then they can get fined hundreds of dollars and often get fired from their jobs. In addition, they can be made to pay a civil fine.
Many of these employees are women, often single mothers trying to support their children and pay their rent. They end up on unemployment or welfare, as it becomes hard for them to find another job in the service industry. Is this fair?
Doesn’t the board have a better way? They pay these kids who look older than they really are to entrap hard-working people into breaking the law. If there is a problem, why not just go into the establishment, check IDs and ticket the people if they are serving minors and also ticket the minors themselves.