Montana Agency Pushes Lighter Alcohol Sale Penalties

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – Some groups are criticizing a proposal from the state Revenue Department that would lighten penalties for businesses that sell alcohol to minors if they require worker training.

Currently, bars, casinos and stores that illegally sell alcoholic beverages to minors can be fined between $250 and $1,500 and face losing their liquor license.

The Revenue Department wants to change the first penalty to a written warning and give businesses more chances before they lose licensing.

Tawny Haynes, the widow of a Highway Patrol officer killed by a drunken driver this year, says the change would put residents in danger. But Neil Peterson with the Gaming Industry Association says his group is fully committed to training workers and supports the proposal.

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