Dozens of law enforcement officers from throughout the state are spending three days in Jefferson City, attending a conference on how best to combat underage drinking.

While part of the gathering gives police, sheriffs, State Water Patrol, and State Highway Patrol officers the opportunity to exchange tips on how best to deal with underage drinking, it is also giving officers the chance to put some of what they know into practice. Tuesday night, for instance, officers and young adults under the age of 21 staged sting operations.

Special Agent Nancy McGee with the Missouri Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Control says during one-third of the checks alcohol was sold to those younger than 21. McGee says that’s a good night, though, because the average sting operation finds alcohol sold to underage buyers about 40 percent of the time.

Public Safety Director Mark James says failure to comply with the law has its consequences – not just for the young person who is not old enough to purchase alcohol, but for the server or seller of the alcohol and the licensee of the bar or store selling alcohol.

Download/Listen: Steve Walsh report (:60 MP3)