Local News

Wake ABC Commission Cracking Down On Alcohol Sales To Minors

Posted March 4, 2002

— Wake County's Alcohol Beverage Control Commission is cracking down on underage drinking.

An 18-year-old operative convinced five of eight convenience store clerks to sell her alcohol while WRAL sat in on the latest undercover sting by Wake ABC investigators.

The operative displayed her identification, which showed her real date of birth, and made it very clear that she was 18.

So are the sales just an honest mistake?

"I think it was more of a careless mistake," said Lew Nuckles, Wake County ABC assistant chief of a specific instance. "[The clerk] was given the opportunity, given the information right in front of him to determine she was 18 and should not have sold the beverage."

The operative, however, does not believe carelessness is an excuse.

"If somebody that doesn't even look 18 can go in there and purchase a big 40-ounce bottle of beer with no problem, there's something wrong," she said.

Investigators said that they have visited many of the stores more than once, and that they have caught clerks selling alcohol to underage customers on those visits.

Clerks caught selling alcohol to a minor are fined $200.

The owner of a convenience store can lose his or her permit to sell alcohol if the store is caught selling to underage drinkers more than three times.

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