MANKATO — More than a third of the Mankato liquor businesses that were checked during Minnesota State University’s homecoming sold alcohol to a minor, according to the Department of Public Safety.
Police also cited 130 people for underage drinking during Saturday’s festivities as police responded to 43 disturbance calls, 28 calls to report intoxicated people and 16 loud party calls.
Of the 16 people jailed Saturday, 14 were charged with alcohol-related offenses.
“That’s about what we see for numbers,” Matt Westermayer, deputy director of public safety, said about Saturday’s call load. “Overall, I think things went well. There were a lot of people who made good decisions.”
Westermayer said he talked to a fair number of people who were visiting for the weekend, including one person from Moorhead and another from South Dakota.
He did not, however, expect to have five out 14 liquor businesses fail a compliance check Friday.
An underage person working with police was sent into the establishments, prepared to show a real identification showing he or she was underage, to purchase alcohol. Employees at four liquor stores and one convenience store — Captain Jacks, Rush Liquor, MGM, Sam’s Club Liquor and Happy Dan’s — sold alcohol to that person without asking for identification.
More liquor stores and bars would have been checked, but the officers working with the underage buyer were slowed down by having to write reports for each offense, Westermayer said. More compliance checks will be coming, he added.
Offenders face a large fine and possible jail time for the gross misdemeanor offense.
“I thought it seemed a little high,” he said. “I thought it was interesting that they were all off-sale establishments.”
Officers also responded to two large underage drinking parties Friday night. The tenants at 308 Joseph Path and 1902 Third Ave. were cited for violating the social host ordinance and several people were cited for underage drinking.
The detoxification center in New Ulm was full for most of the weekend, so most of the heavily intoxicated people who couldn’t be turned over to a sober adult were brought to a detox center in Hastings on Saturday. That center was full Sunday, so family had to be contacted to pick up their loved ones.
A total of 15 intoxicated people needed care. The lowest blood-alcohol content level from that group was .18, which is more than twice the legal limit of .08 for driving. The highest level was .35 and the average level was nearly .23.