By Craig Monger
The city of Huntsville engaged in a police operation which resulted in multiple citations for the sale of alcohol to minors.
The operation lasted four hours and ended with the citation of cashiers at 24 different convenience stores. The investigation came after the Huntsville Police Department (HPD) received multiple complaints from parents that local stores had allegedly been selling alcohol to their children.
According to Sergeant Chris Davis, a community resource officer with HPD, several parents had called in with tips informing the police that their kids had been coming home intoxicated after illegally purchasing alcohol.
“They would call and ask us, ‘hey, my child is buying alcohol from this convenience store, they are coming home, coming in sick, coming home drunk.’ so we looked into it,” Sgt. Davis told News 19.
Community resource officers with HPD employed the aid of two juveniles who visited multiple convenience stores to see if the they could purchase alcohol. Together, they visited a total of 32 stores on Wednesday, Nov. 17. The juveniles attempted to purchase alcohol and to see if the clerk would ask them to produce identification. The juveniles were instructed to be truthful and produce their identification if requested by the clerk. In a matter of four hours, the operation had issued citations to 24 of the 32 stores. There is no information about the nature of the citations given to the clerks, and any fines issued have also not been released.
Selling alcohol to a minor is a misdemeanor offense that carries a fine of up to $1,000 or one year in jail.
According to Davis, individual stores would not be cited or penalized for alleged offenses but rather any clerk who fails to identify the customer correctly.
“Obviously, underage alcohol sales is always going to be an ongoing issue, but we want to make sure it’s not a major issue,” Davis said. “We will continue to do these details throughout this year and next year. We don’t want this problem to grow and get out of hand, so we’re going to continue our efforts.”