CHESTERFIRLD, VA (WWBT) - Chesterfield County is cutting off the sale of alcohol to minors by going after the stores that know police are watching.
"We conduct compliance checks with the intention of catching people doing the right thing," said Wayne Frith with S.A.F.E. the substance abuse free environment group.
SAFE began undercover operations two years ago. Kids under the age of 18 march up to the counter with beer. Police watch for an illegal transaction.
"We go to great lengths to educate merchants before we start doing the checks, that we are coming," said Frith.
During safe's latest sting 14 out of 94 stores sold to minors.
"Remarkably, in many of those cases, they actually checked the ID of the youth and then sold the beer," he said.
We tried talking with stores that were cited for selling alcohol to minors, they didn't want to talk but SAFE says that's okay, since the list speaks for itself.
"Well the good news is 86% of the stores did what they were supposed to do and refused to sell to underage buyers," Firth said.
Stores, like Styles Bi-Rite have the law on their minds.
"The most important thing you do is ask for that ID- make sure they are 21," said store manager Lori Woodel.
If an illegal sale is made the employee and store get ticketed and fined. The store could also lose its license.
Melissa: "What would it mean if you all lose your license because of something like this?"
Woodel: "We would probably have to close because beer sales in here are very big."
And closing up shop in today's market is nothing to drink to.
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