The four Walgreens locations in Arlington Heights will be able to sell liquor starting soon under a policy change that allows alcohol sales in convenience stores.
The Arlington Heights committee of the whole Monday night recommended approval of liquor licenses for Walgreens at 3 E. Golf Road, 235 E. Palatine Road, 1000 E. Northwest Hwy. and 1711 W. Campbell St. The measure was then passed by the formal board.
Earlier this month, the board also approved a liquor license for a 7-Eleven store at 1418 Hintz Road, the first convenience store in the village to be allowed to sell alcohol in nearly four decades.
The approvals come a few months after the board amended a policy from 1976 that prohibited convenience and drugstores from selling alcohol.
The policy change allows stores that are at least 2,500 square feet large to sell alcohol, but it still prohibits gas stations from selling liquor.
On Monday, Walgreens store managers and District Manager Lee Polster explained the security measures that will be taken to ensure liquor is not sold to minors.
The stores will require anyone over 21 to go through Beverage Alcohol Sellers and Servers Education and Training, Polster said. Anyone buying alcohol will have their driver's license scanned through a machine to check their birth date to reduce the possibility for clerk error.
Polster said that at one point in the past, Walgreens stopped selling alcohol in its stores but has come back to it because of the convenience factor it offers to customers who are shopping for alcohol and other products.
"We got out of liquor because we couldn't secure it the way we can today," he said.
Trustee Thomas Glasgow, who was filling in for Mayor Tom Hayes as president pro tem, reminded the managers that Arlington Heights has zero tolerance for violators of the village's liquor law.
"I am really impressed with security and what you will utilize. I'm very comfortable granting a liquor license to these four stores for that reason," Glasgow said. "I do think you're looking out not only for the community but your employees as well."