DURHAM — No ID, no beer. That is the way the law to keep alcohol away from minors is supposed to work, but nearly two dozenDurhamstores are in trouble with the state for selling to an 18-year-old during a sting operation.
In Durham, $25,000 in fines are in the process of being dished out. Almost half of the stores agents visited sold beer to an underaged informant. Authorities say it is time to crack down on people who sell beer to minors.
Ron Allen has a lot of beer in his office. He is Durham County's Alcoholic Beverage Control Police Chief, and the beer was bought by an 18-year-old in an undercover sting operation.
"Everything went successful. I'm pleased with it. I will do another one. I don't know when, but I will be back out," said Allen.
Allen says 22 of the 48 Durham stores targeted over the past few weeks sold beer to their underaged buyer.
One store could lose its beer and wine permit. It is the second time this year the ABC Board has cited Town and Country convenience store for selling to a minor.
"I think they made the mistake because they came over here and showed me some ID. They say 'Do you know this guy?' I look at the ID and tell them I've never seen the guy before. They said 'No. You sold beer to a minor,'" said store clerk Adel Ali.
Ali is the clerk charged with the illegal beer sale. He claims there is no receipt for a beer purchase during the time the ABC agents say the illegal sale was made.
"The message coming from Durham County ABC law enforcement is if he is not 21, don't sell. If he is not 21 and you are caught, you will be cited," said Allen.
AGeneral Assemblystudy says that 30 percent of North Carolina teens surveyed say they know a store in their community where someone under 21 can buy beer.
On Dec. 1, a law goes into effect that sets bigger fines for selling beer to minors and also gives a bigger pinch if you buy beer for minors.