Missouri has 5 agents to check 12,000 liquor licenses

Monday, June 14, 2010 | 9:14 a.m. CDT

JEFFERSON CITY — Budget cuts have left the state of Missouri with only five liquor control officers to monitor more than 12,000 liquor license holders.

State lawmakers slashed more than $1 million from the Missouri Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Control for this year, costing 17 liquor control agents their jobs.

The budget cuts have raised concern among local law enforcement officials and those who work to prevent teenage drinking.

Lawmakers said local law enforcement agencies will now be responsible for enforcing liquor laws, such as checking licenses and preventing liquor sales to minors.

The Kansas City Star reports that some business owners also are concerned that centralizing the processing of liquor licenses will cause delays in approving or renewing the licenses.

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