Local News

Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office Partnering with I-PLEDGE Program

The Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office has taken a pledge to keep tobacco, alternative nicotine and vapor products out of the hands of underage residents.

I-PLEDGE is a program that partners with the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division to educate local retailers and to enforce Iowa’s tobacco, alternative nicotine and vapor product laws. Since the program’s inception in 2000, the statewide tobacco compliance rate has grown to 90%. By participating in the program, the Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office has committed to do its part to increase the compliance rate even more this year.

I-PLEDGE places emphasis on retailer training. Clerks who successfully complete an online training course and then pass an exam will become I-PLEDGE certified. This allows a retail establishment to use an affirmative defense against a civil penalty if the certified clerk makes an illegal sale.

Deputies also conduct compliance checks on local establishments as part of the I-PLEDGE program – and clerks who are caught making an illegal sale to underage customers will be cited on the spot.

Criminal penalties for selling tobacco, alternative nicotine and vapor products to a minor include a $135 fine for a first offense, a $325 fine for a second offense and a $645 fine for third and subsequent offenses. But handing out citations is not the intent of the I-PLEDGE program.

ADVERTISEMENT
Back to top button