The high failure rate among 80 businesses is found during compliance checks timed for the early part of the college year.

Portland police found last weekend in a compliance check that 22 businesses sold alcohol to people younger than 21.

Checks were done at 80 businesses that sell alcohol, including bars, convenience stores and grocery stores. Twenty-two of the businesses sold to buyers who, when asked for identification showing they were 21 or older, said they had none.

“This high rate is very concerning when one considers the potential impact to our community, especially to young people,” said police Cmdr. Gary Rogers in a written release. “We can’t let it happen. Twenty-five percent (noncompliance) is just way to high.”

Rogers said a lack of training and clear policies for alcohol sales probably contributed to the high failure rate. Those cases will be referred to the state Liquor Commission which will likely levy fines.

Businesses with too many violations risk losing their liquor licenses, and a business can be held liable if someone is injured as a result of a sale of alcohol to a minor.

The checks are part of Operation Safe Start, an enforcement effort that coincides with the early part of the college school year, when students are forming views about acceptable behavior in college, according to 21 Reasons, a group that works to reduce drinking by minors.

Police say the businesses that sold alcohol to customers under age 21 were:

North Gate Mobil, 1397 Washington Ave.

7-Eleven, 27 Washington Ave.

Amato’s, 71 India St.

7-Eleven, 170 Brighton Ave.

West End Deli, 133 Spring St.

Moran’s Market, 1576 Forest Ave.

Three-D’s Variety Store, 885 Brighton Ave.

On the Run, 1196 Congress St.

Energy North, 1199 Congress St.

Sangillo’s Tavern, 18 Hampshire St.

Mellen Street Market, 79 Mellen St.

Amato’s, 312 St John St.

City Beverage, 1 Exchange St.

Parker’s, 1349 Washington Ave.

Bruno’s, 33 Allen Ave.

Quality Shop, 473 Stevens Ave.

Maine Smoke Shop, 804 Washington Ave.

Tortilla Flat, 1871 Forest Ave.

Vespucci’s, 211 Danforth St.

Hannaford, 295 Forest Ave.

CVS, 111 Auburn St.

Anania’s, 606 Washington Ave.

David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

[email protected]

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