In an effort to decrease the dangers and consequences of alcohol purchased by minors in our county, The Coalition, Inc. partnered with the Angelina County Sheriff’s Department and the Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission (TABC) to conduct alcohol stings. Under the direct supervision of law enforcement officers, juveniles under the legal age to drink/purchase alcohol are used as decoys to enter businesses that are licensed to sell alcohol and then attempt to purchase alcohol.
“Underage drinking has unintended consequences for youth, such as increased risk for sexual assault, car crashes and long-term addiction. It is essential that local retailers train their employees on the laws concerning the sale of alcohol to minors, and they set an expectation among their staff to ask for ID and deny alcohol sales to anyone under the age or 21,” said Sharon Kruk, executive director of The Coalition. “Businesses that responsibly sell alcohol are a respected part of our community. We want our community to work together to keep youth safe.”
During the January and February minor sting operations, there were four stores who sold to minors and 26 who did not. We commend those stores who did not sell alcohol to minors in our community and recognize them for helping to combat underage drinking:
· Walgreens, 102 N Timberland Drive;
· Big’s #3807, 1910 N Timberland Drive;
· Loves Travel Stop , 5614 US Hwy 59 N;
· La Michoacana, 416 Atkinson Drive;
· Valero Gas N Go, 401 N Timberland Drive;
· HEB, 111 N Timberland Drive;
· Big’s #3815, 612 S Timberland Drive;
· Family Dollar, 730 South Timberland Drive;
· Family Dollar, 419 N Timberland Drive;
· Big’s #3850, 3019 S John Reddit Drive;
· Wal-mart #140, 2500 Daniel McCall Drive;
· On the Road #103, 4110 S 1st Street;
· Brookshire Brothers #1, 301 S Chestnut Drive;
· CVS, 1204 E Lufkin Avenue;
· Pilot Travel Center, 1920 E Denman Avenue;
· Big’s #3820, 2400 E Denman Avenue;
· Dollar General, 2422 E Denman Avenue;
· On the Road #102, 2909 E Denman Avenue;
· Huntington Travel Center, 191 S US Hwy 69, Huntington;
· Tobacco Barn #52, 104 N Main, Suite B, Huntington;
· Dollar General, 790 Hwy 69 S, Huntington;
· Family Dollar, 593 Hwy 69 South, Huntington;
· Coleman’s, 188 Old Hwy 147, Zavalla;
· Lakeview Grocery, 5896 Hwy 147, Zavalla;
· Homer Mini Mart, 7075 Hwy 69 S;
· JR Food Mart, 1114 E Denman Avenue.
Four businesses did sell to minors and administrative action was taken against the individuals who sold the alcohol:
· Timberland Chevron, 804 N Timberland Drive;
· Brookshire Brothers Express #81, 198 E Main Street, Zavalla;
· Brookshire Brothers #52, 104 N Main, Huntington; and
· Dollar General, 231 Hwy 147, Zavalla.
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 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 alcohol beverages on the premises owned by or leased by the adult.
Since 1988, 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, contact The Coalition at 936-634-9308.