Dollar Express banned from selling mouthwash to drunks and kids

Drunks and kids have taken to buying high-alcohol mouthwash on East Franklin.

Drunks and kids have taken to buying high-alcohol mouthwash on East Franklin.

In what could be the most depressing rules Minneapolis ever handed down to a neighborhood store, the Dollar Express at 1433 E. Franklin Ave. is now explicitly banned from selling mouthwash to drunk people.

The store is also supposed to card anybody who looks to be under 30 years old if they’re trying to buy mouthwash containing more than 10 percent alcohol.

Grant Wilson, who works in the city’s licenses office, said folks in the neighborhood complained about the low-cost, high-alcohol mouthwash on Dollar Express' shelves.

“What we heard was that inebriates were entering the store, for example on a Sunday when all liquor stores were closed,” Wilson said. “They would be obviously intoxicated, and they’d come out with multiple bottles of this cheap mouthwash and go sit in the corner and drink it.”

The neighborhood kids, who couldn’t get real booze any day of the week, seemed to have gotten a taste for Listerine as well, Wilson said. Some minors would come in just to buy a bag of the 54 proof hygiene product.

Dollar Express had to agree to the terms in order to renew its license.

Wilson suspects the mouthwash abuse was more of a hyper-local fad than a widespread issue in Minneapolis.

“I think this is a very one-off situation, a very unique situation,” he said. “Some inebriates or kids found that they had a variety of mouthwash available at this store that was cheap. But I’ve not placed this condition on any other business I can recall.”

The Dollar Express on Franklin is still branded as Family Dollar, the previous owners of the store.