By Sara Belsole
COLUMBUS, GA - Columbus Police's Special Operations Unit checks more than 200 businesses a year to make sure they are not selling alcohol to minors or letting minors into 21-and-up bars.
But officials say the problem is getting worse.
"Probably in the last six months, surprisingly enough, we have had more cases that we've made," Captain Gil Slouchick says.
That's including the shooting at the Majestic Sports Bar. Shots rang out inside the bar on New Year's, killing one and injuring six, including two minors.
The assistant manager of the club was eventually charged with nine counts of allowing underage patrons inside the club.
On Saturday, Columbus Police were back out doing alcohol compliance checks.
"What we do is take an underage person as an undercover allow with a police officer and we will try to get into bars and we will try to go to gas stations, convenience stores, liquor stores and buy alcohol, Slouchick says.
Officials say the undercover minors were able to get into Maple Mart Sports Bar, Martini's, Sammy's Hideaway, the Foxhole, and Scruffy Murphy's.
The employee checking ID at the door was arrested at each bar.
Officials say they randomly pick businesses to check. They say they only target a certain establishment if they have received complaints.
"We target businesses when we receive complaints from parents and teachers calling to let us know they are understanding and hearing the kids talk," Slouchick says.
Some of the bars say they will be making some changes. Maple Mart says they will be checking ID's at both the door and the bar, and Scruffy Murphy's says each employee will have to present an ABC card before each shift.
Scruffy Murphy's says the employees who let the minors in are at fault and terminated those employees.
Columbus Police say this won't be the last time they are out checking.
"Going out there checking from time to time keeps people on their toes, just like a police officer with a radar gun keeps people from speeding," Slouchick says.
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