Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Out of the mouth of babes

Its a vital function. Stopping clerks from selling alcohol to minors.

It will only get worse as the Summer tubing season comes upon us.

Good job TABC and NBPD.

BTW I know it probably galls LT. Penshorn a/k/a 'Baby-face' Penshorn cause he gets carded all the time.

Seven local clerks charged in alcohol sting
-The Herald-Zeitung

The New Braunfels Police Department over the weekend charged seven local business clerks with selling alcohol to minors — part of its “Operation Intervention” crackdown on underage drinking.

The latest round of stings were conducted Saturday with the aid of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission as teenagers and undercover officers attempted to purchase alcohol from 17 local gas stations and liquor stores.

Seven clerks were taken into custody and charged with selling alcohol to minors, a Class A misdemeanor that brings with it a fine of as much as $4,000 and as much as a year in jail. A few of the businesses will be fined administratively by the TABC, according to police.

Since it was first launched in August 2007, Operation Intervention has resulted in 38 clerks being charged with illegally selling alcohol to minors.

Those selling alcohol say the program does serve as a deterrent, even if the majority of clerks aren’t purposely trying to sell to minors.

“Most people I know aren’t intentionally trying to break the law,” said Crystal Combs, manager at D&B Wine and Spirits, one store that had a clerk ticketed and arrested Saturday. “Everyone has an off day. But it does make you remember to be careful about what you’re doing and who you’re selling to.”

Police say the program is making a difference.

“Overall, I think the program has been a success, when you take into account the number of local establishments that sell alcohol,” NBPD Spokesman Lt. Mike Penshorn said.

Along with D&B, clerks at the Sac & Pac Drive Inn, Tiger Tote #2, Pit Stop, Rivercrest Food Mart, NB Liquor & Wine and Shell Quix were charged with selling to minors Saturday. Names of the individual clerks were not provided in a NBPD news release, and efforts to obtain them were unsuccessful as of late Monday.

Aside from undercover operations, the program also seeks to educate teens about the dangers of drinking as well as work with community groups and businesses to reduce the amount of alcohol minors can get their hands on.

“Ultimately, when we have another one of these operations, we want to have 100 percent compliance and not see any violations,” Penshorn said.