Illegal alcohol sales continue - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Illegal alcohol sales continue

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November 7, 2002

Albany-- Store clerks are still selling alcohol to underage buyers. Nearly two-dozen clerks were busted Thursday and F Friday night in another undercover sting. The District Attorney says the clerks just aren't getting the message.

Another mountain of beer was bought by underage officers. Of the 51 stores checked, 23 sold beer to the officers who are under 21. That's 45 percent still breaking the law.

Dougherty District Attorney Ken Hodges said "I would like to report that the numbers are going down from undercover operations in the past. That's not the case. It's just about stagnant."

Eight of the stores checked last week were caught for the second time selling alcohol to underage officers. Most had been fined for the first time sales. One clerk was caught for the second time selling beer in undercover operations, and Hodges says he will try to put that clerk behind bars now.

"Receiving a citation, a $300 fine, and put on probation. And then does it again two months later. They haven't gotten the message. With this particular clerk, we will seek to have that clerk incarcerated," said the D. A.

Two Sunrise Pantry stores were caught for the second time selling alcohol to underaged. They've been fired and their managers are apologetic. Sunrise Pantry manager Sharon Mizell said, "We're sorry this happened, and we are going to do everything in our power to make sure it does not happen again in the future."

Hodges says with the holidays coming, Police will step up efforts to stop the sell of underage alcohol. Hodges said, "We've got kids coming home from college. Coming back from an enviornment where alcohol is there regardless of their drinking age. Then coming back home to see their friends. That does concern me, and we will step up our efforts in the holiday season."

The City of Albany received a $66,000 grant from the Department of Justice to help pay for their Underage Drinking law enforcement. The city will hire a part time coordinator to lead the program.

posted at 4:30PM by dave.miller@walb.com