ADDU cites convenience stores in underage alcohol sales

ALBANY, Ga. -- The majority of the 42 stores selling alcoholic beverages passed the test of not selling to underage consumers, said an Albany-Dougherty Drug Unit official.

"I'd like to compliment those stores for doing what they are supposed to do," said Major Bill Berry. "A couple stores took our minor's identification and called the police on them."

Berry was dumbfounded by the stores that carded the undercover minor sent in the store, saw the license that spelled out he was underage and served him anyway.

"It is clearly printed on their identification that they are underage," Berry said. "They got served at seven stores anyway."

Then there was the clerk who laughed when he was contacted about a citation for serving alcohol to a minor.

"One particular store clerk thought it was funny," Berry said. "He thought it was a laughing matter."

Berry said he would not release the name of the clerk or the particular store because the manager is taking appropriate steps to discipline the clerk.

The number of stores busted in the past went as high as 55 percent of the stores tested, Berry said. It has come down to 26 percent with this operation.

All it takes is three or four complaints for the unit to start an operation where they send in someone underage to buy alcohol, Berry said. On this sting the drug unit used interns aged 19 and 20 from Dougherty County government to try to buy alcohol.