In an effort to decrease the dangers and consequences of alcohol purchased by minors in Angelina County, The Coalition, Inc. has partnered with the Angelina County Sheriff’s Department and the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) to conduct minor stings. Under the direct supervision of law enforcement officers, minor decoys (juveniles under the legal age to drink/purchase alcohol) enter businesses that are licensed to sell alcohol and then attempt to purchase alcohol.
“We know that underage drinking leads to increased risks of sexual assault, impaired driving, and long-term addiction, so we, as a community, need to do everything in our power to keep alcohol out of the hands of minors,” says Sharon Kruk, Executive Director of The Coalition, Inc. “Minor stings are a proven method for curbing the sale of alcohol to minors and The Coalition is proud to partner with the Angelina County Sheriff’s Department and TABC to provide enforcement that ultimately will help to keep the kids in our community safer.”
Two minor sting operations have been conducted so far in 2018, for a total of twenty attempted purchases. The Coalition, Inc. commends the sixteen businesses that did not sell to minors and recognizes them for helping to combat underage drinking:
· Adeel’s, FM 1194 South
· Brookshire Brothers, W. Frank Ave.
· Brookshire Brothers Express, Ted Trout Dr.
· Café Del Rio, S. Medford Dr.
· Chevron, N. Timberland
· CVS, W. Frank Ave.
· Dollar General Store, Southwood Dr.
· Lucky’s, N. John Redditt Dr.
· Newk’s Eatery, Brentwood Dr.
· Outback Steakhouse; S. 1st Street
· Polk, Ted Trout Dr.
· Posados Café, S. John Redditt Dr.
· 7 Star, Kurth Dr.
· Target, S. Medford Dr.
· Walgreens, W. Frank Ave.
· Walmart, Daniel McCall Dr.
Four businesses did sell to minors and administrative action was taken against the individuals who sold the alcohol:
· Big’s, 103 N. John Redditt Dr
· Brookshire Brothers, N. Timberland Dr.
· Dollar General Store, Kurth Dr.
· Guacamole’s Mexican Grill, Ted Trout Dr.
Sale to a minor is a class A misdemeanor, punishable by a fine up to $4,000, confinement up to a year in jail, or both. Persons 21 or older (other than the parent or guardian) can be held liable for damages caused by intoxication of a minor under 18 if the adult knowingly provided alcoholic beverages to a minor or knowingly allowed the minor to be served or provided alcoholic beverages on the premises owned or leased by the adult.
When asked for comment, Brookshire Brothers Public Relations Associate Adam Lowther said, “Brookshire Brothers has strict policies regarding the sale of alcohol and tobacco products and strives to operate with the highest level of integrity. A violation of these policies is grounds for immediate termination. We have resolved this issue internally and will continue to work hard to ensure the safety of our community.”
Over the past 30 years, The Coalition has focused on eliminating the use of harmful substances by affecting public policy, laws, attitudes and behaviors, all in an effort to foster healthy life-long choices for the local community. For more information on how to help prevent underage drinking, please contact The Coalition at (936) 634-9308 or visit www.angelinacoalition.org.
- Ezra McMullin is a content and social media producer at MSGPR and attends Angelina College. He unwinds after a long day by playing XBox, telling himself he'll just play one more level before bed.