In North Carolina, it is unlawful for any person to sell or give beer or wine to anyone less than 21 years old; or for a person less than 21 years old to purchase, attempt to purchase, or possess beer or wine.
The Clayton Police Department recognizes that alcohol use by young people is extremely dangerous, both to themselves and society at large. Underage alcohol use is associated with traffic fatalities, violence, unsafe sex, suicide, educational failure, and other problem behaviors that diminish the prospects of future success in life. The NC Division of Health and Human Services cites alcohol as the drug of choice for underage persons in North Carolina. Alcohol kills 6½ times more young people under the age of 21 than all other illicit drugs combined. Approximately 10 percent of all alcohol related fatal crashes in North Carolina involve an underage driver, and alcohol is one of the most common contributors of injury, death and criminal behavior among youth.
The Clayton Police Department completed “Operation No Sale” this week to determine if stores that sell alcohol, may be selling to those too young to legally purchase the adult beverage. The operation involved using an underage volunteer (working covertly under police supervision and monitoring) going to stores licensed to sell alcohol and attempting to purchase six-packs of beer.
The underage volunteer (age 19) was successful in buying beer at only 4 of 20 stores in Clayton which is a violation rate of 20 percent (16 stores DID NOT sell). In all four of the stores that sold the beer to the teenager, the clerk did not ask for or check identification. The store employees that sold alcohol to the underage persons are all being charged with misdemeanors by citation or criminal summons, and were released on their own recognizance pending court.
Stores which sold To 19 Year-Old
Wal-Mart 805 Town Center Blvd
Wilco Hess #1870 291 NC 42 East
El Michoacano 226 E Main St
The Clayton Mart 208 E Main St
The stores which did NOT sell were:
La Nueva Frontera 10499 US Hwy 70 Bus. West
Valero 11590 US Hwy 70 Bus. West
Han-Dee Hugo’s #61 11928 US Hwy 70 Bus. West
Wilco Food Mart #216 11693 US Hwy 70 Bus. West
Han-Dee Hugo’s #74 11325 US Hwy 70 Bus. West
Howard’s Mini-Mart 4222 Barber Mill Rd
BP 531 NC 42 West
Kangaroo Express 10081 US Hwy 70 Bus. West
Rancho Grande 913 E. Main St
Spirit / Han-Dee Hugo’s 700 NC Hwy 42 West
Wilco Hess 8060 US Hwy 70 Bus. West
Clayton Food Town 421 E. Second St
Sandhu’s 1225 Amelia Church Rd
Food Lion US Hwy 70 Bus. West
Lowe’s Foods US Hwy 70 Bus. West
Hasty Mart US Hwy 70 Bus. West (at Durham St)
The Clayton Police Department commends those stores and employees that refused to sell alcohol to the underage persons. Notice of the violations by the other four stores will be forwarded to the NC Alcohol Law Enforcement Agency and to the NC ABC Commission that regulates the licenses to sell alcohol.
This operation was coordinated by Clayton Police Detectives C.W. Kilpatrick and R.J. Moyer under the supervision of Lieutenant J.R. Herring. Additional operations of this type will take place in the future. Chief Glen Allen said of the operation, “While we are certainly concerned that some stores still provided alcohol to the underage buyer, we are encouraged that each compliance operation of this type conducted by the police department has discovered fewer outlets selling alcohol illegally.”
Previous operations have shown a decline in the violation rates from 72% in early 2007, 62% in fall of 2007, 38% in early 2008, and 20% this week.
Chief Allen added, “Clayton establishments that sell alcohol have been forewarned that the Police Department will continue conducting undercover investigations to check for alcohol being sold to minors. We hope that future operations like this will continue to show a reduction in violations with even more stores checking IDs and refusing to provide alcohol to minors.”