The ruled to suspend Gas Plus’s tobacco license for two days and institute a $400 fine after the station April 23, 2011.
Richfield Public Safety officers used 17-year-old decoys to enter all 26 tobacco-selling establishments in Richfield and attempt to make a purchase. Gas Plus, also known as Marathon and located at 7744 12th Ave. S., was one of six gas stations and establishments that failed the check that day, however this was the not the first time the station has failed.
Technically, this was the station’s sixth offense, but because of the city’s step-back program it was recorded as the second offense. The step-back program allows businesses to move back its number of offenses by one with every two consecutive checks passed.
The council was concerned about the number of offenses in a short period and asked the station’s General Manager Bee Lor, who was present to represent the business owners, what would be done to ensure compliance in the future.
“We already have a 'We Card' program,” Lor said. “My future plan is to pretty much be more strict and make sure they are carding … I know how bad it is to sell tobacco to a minor … I’m going to do everything I can.”
Lor also said the employee who made the sale was terminated.
As a way to ensure compliance, Richfield Public Safety Director suggested that Lor conduct his own compliance checks using minors to help deal with non-compliant employees before it comes time for another public safety check.
Past Gas Plus compliance failures occurred on May 25, 2004; Nov. 1, 2004; April 19, 2007; March 20, 2008; and April 9, 2010.
The other businesses that failed the April 23 check were:
- on 2913 W. 66th St.;
- on 6715 Lake Shore Dr. S.;
- on 7500 Lyndale Ave. S.;
- on 7720 Nicollet Ave. S.;
- on 12 W. 66th St.
The above five businesses will be fined $200, but will not have to suspend tobacco sales. Richfield Public Safety generally conducts tobacco compliance checks twice a year.