Fewer stores caught in underage alcohol sting - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Fewer stores caught in underage alcohol sting

Albany -- With prom season here, drug agents are making sure store clerks aren't selling alcohol to underaged customers.

Using high school juniors and seniors, they ran another sting operation to see if clerks would sell to them. This time, 70 percent of them didn't. But 12 clerks did and now they're in trouble.

 These are the alcoholic drinks that the three 17 and 18 year olds were able to buy. The 12 store clerks who sold them will be arrested in the next few days. Dougherty District Attorney Ken Hodges said "They all will be prosecuted. If there are any second or third clerk offenders we will be asking for incarceration."

Three stores were repeat offenders, including the Express Lane on Sylvester Road, which just got its liquor license back for underage sales. Hodges said "Sold again. Well bring that to my attention, we'll be going after them."

15 restaurants and Pool Halls were checked March 18, The Harvest Moon was the only offender. Underage Drinking Task Force Grant Coordinator Tracy King said "We got to get back out there and do some more awareness, and really get with the clerks on this. But I believe it is working.".

As the alcohol bought in the sting operation was poured out, officers warn the undercover buyers will be out again soon. Hodges said "We're going to continue these sweeps. Three to four to five times a year. We're going to continue to do it, so be on notice."

Seven of the 12 stores that sold alcohol to the high school students checked their I.D.'s, and then sold to them anyway.

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