Skip to Content

Carding compliance: As OLCC steps up alcohol, cannabis minor decoys, Bend brewpub ‘proud’ it always checks IDs

(Update: adding video, comment from OLCC, Bend Brewing Co, 10Barrel Brewing Co)

Agency's interactive graphic of 'sting' results below

PORTLAND, Ore. (KTVZ) – With the holiday weekend kicking off summer, the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission recently announced it's stepping up minor decoy operations. The stepped-up effort will also include decoys to monitor age checks for alcohol home delivery.

The OLCC reports 72% compliance for Bend licensees when it comes to checking ages to avoid alcohol sales to minors. They'd like to see at minimum 80% compliance. 

Bend Brewing Co. floor manager Ticari Morrison said Thursday, "if you look under 30, we're going to check your ID, and we're going to ask for your ID."

Morrison has been working at Bend Brewing for five years. She says they take OLCC compliance very seriously.

"We have no problem," Morrison said. "If there's a big line checking everybody's IDs, it doesn't matter - we will. We're pretty proud."

The OLCC deploys decoy operations throughout the state to ensure businesses are compliant with laws. 

OLCC Public Information Officer Matt Van Sickle said, "The way the minor decoy operations work is that we employ minors who are about 18 to 20 years old, who look over the age of 26. And in that process of the operation, they attempt to buy alcohol or marijuana at retail outlets."

Not only is the operation tailored to retail stores, bars and restaurants, the OLCC now runs operations for online ordering mechanisms.  

"We do the same thing," Van Sickle said. "It's really then up to that delivery driver to check it, and then make that determination whether that person is truly legally able (to buy alcohol)."

If the sale takes place, the individual administering the item then would be liable, if they are found to be underage.

Morrison said, "Bend Brewing Co. servers - while at tables, it's their responsibility. If they're taking a drink order from someone, it is their responsibility at that time to check that ID."

For online orders, responsibility would fall on the driver.

"They can avoid a penalty by going through training," Van Sickle said. "They can avoid a penalty by installing age verification equipment, so there's not necessarily always a financial penalty for this."

The OLCC says sometimes individuals can fall through the cracks. That can happen if staff is short, or it's a busy time of year.

Gabe Lazard, the general manager of 10 Barrel Brewing Co., said, "Unfortunately that's the reality of the business, but we have a double verification process here."

Lazard says educating all workers immediately is key to compliance. Workers at 10 Barrel check all IDs, no matter the age, and have two staff members check for those under 25.

"Immediately, we're looking at the picture of the expiration date and the birth date," said Lazard. "And those are kind of the first three things that we're looking (at) to determine if it's a valid ID."

Here's more from the recent OLCC announcement:

After significant declines in licensee compliance during the period emerging from the pandemic, cannabis licensees have steadily improved in their compliance efforts. Alcohol sellers have also made progress with their compliance but have remained inconsistent, OLCC said late last month.

“Our licensees need to comply with the laws and rules pertaining to mixing, serving, selling and delivery of alcohol, and MDO activity is a reminder of that obligation” said Andy Jurik, OLCC Director of Alcohol Compliance.

OLCC temporarily halted MDO inspections of licensed businesses (link to results by region) that sell or serve alcohol and businesses that sell cannabis for more than two years during the pandemic. MDO activity restarted in earnest in September 2022 after a few random checks resulted in abysmal results.

Compliance (on MDO’s) by alcohol licensees has improved from 71% in 2022 to 78% in 2023, to 80% so far in 2024. But it is still 10% below the 90% objective set by OLCC.

By comparison, cannabis retailers have improved their compliance activity to get above the 90% threshold. From 80% compliance in 2022, to 87% in 2023, to 92% so far in 2024.

“It’s important for our licensees to make sure that they and their employees have good protocols in place for checking IDs to prevent minors from buying,” said Jurik. “There’s also age verification equipment (AVE) they can install that will cost less than a fine or license suspension.”

Adding MDO activity to alcohol home delivery is the result of passage of House Bill 3308 during the 2023 Oregon legislative session. That legislation directs the OLCC to oversee third-party delivery companies that deliver alcoholic beverages to consumers.

Drivers for these delivery companies are required to check the identification of the person receiving the order when it contains alcoholic beverages to make sure that person is not a minor. The MDO monitoring of alcohol home delivery is designed to prevent “drop and dash” activity, where a delivery driver leaves alcoholic beverages without checking for an identification.

A 2022 study conducted for the OLCC found more than 35% of alcoholic beverage deliveries were not done in a compliant manner. According to The Eyes on Oregon study non-compliant delivery included: no contact deliveries (drop and dash), no ID checking, and insufficient ID checking.

The OLCC offers ID checking classes at the agency’s regional offices, as well as at licensees’ businesses. Licensees can schedule a class for their business by contacting their local OLCC office.

Article Topic Follows: Government-politics

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

Matthew Draxton

Matthew Draxton is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Matthew here.


KTVZ NewsChannel 21 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content