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Compliance check reveals many McDonald County stores... - KOAM TV 7

Compliance check reveals many McDonald County stores are selling alcohol to minors

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For the first time in a few years the McDonald County Sheriff's Office sent teens to area liquor stores to see who could walk out with beer.  Authorities say they were surprised to see just how many area stores were willing to sell teens a six pack.

The undercover sting sent 18 and 19 year olds to 17 stores in the area to try and buy some beer.  Seven stores sold beer to underage teens, including Macadoodles and Walmart.

Selling to minors is a Class A Misdemeanor - with a maximum fine of $1,000 and up to a year in prison.

"I'm shocked that there is that many that aren't looking at ID's and trying to do something to stop the issues we have in McDonald County," says Nicole Cooper, the owner of Town & County Super Market, a store that did pass the test.

Cooper says that's because they keep identification rules in their store very strict.

"We do look at the cameras and if we catch them they are automatically terminated, and that's the end of their job here," says Cooper.

Most distressing to McDonald County Sheriff Mike Hall was the store clerks who did check ID's and sold the teens beer anyway.

"The problem that scared me to a certain point I guess, some of the clerks actually looked at the licenses and still sold the alcohol even though the license said not 21 until a certain date," says Sheriff Hall.

Prosecuting attorney Jonathan Pierce hopes compliance checks like these will help crack down on underage drinking in the county.

"I think underage drinking is a problem here," says Pierce.  "I would like to help stop that problem.  There are many issues that go along with underage drinking - none of them good."

Pierce says he has already filed charges on three of the store clerks and plans on filing the remainder of the chargers next week.

The sheriff's office says they plan on holding another sting sometime this Fall when school returns, and they hope to see fewer stores willing to sell to minors.

 

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