Detectives with the Corpus Christi Police Department’s Narcotics and Vice Investigations Division conducted a minor sting operation Friday evening, checking compliance at beer and wine retailers across the city. NVID targeted the twelve convenience stores that sold alcoholic beverages to underage minors during a similar operation in March.
During Friday’s operation, two cooperating individuals, under the direction and close supervision of NVID Detectives attempted to purchase alcoholic beverages from convenience stores throughout the city. Both individuals are over the age of eighteen but under twenty-one, the legal age to purchase alcoholic beverages in Texas. Of the twelve businesses checked, clerks at four sold alcoholic beverages to the underage operatives and were subsequently arrested. Detectives also checked a local nightclub and arrested a bartender after she sold an alcoholic beverage to one of the cooperating minors.
The four store clerks and bartender who sold the alcoholic beverages face a charge of Sale to Minors (TABC 106.3,) a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $4000. NVID will forward the results of this operation to the Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission for administrative action against the permittees, which could include revocation, suspension and/or fines.
Clerks at twelve of the twenty-two businesses checked during NVID’s March compliance operation sold alcoholic beverages to the minors. NVID sent warning letters to the management of all twelve convenience stores, informing them of the previous violations, and warning them of the consequences for continued violations. “Hopefully this operation sends a clear message to the owners of these businesses,” said NVID Deputy Chief Todd Green. “With high school graduation just over the horizon, we intend to do everything within our power to prevent underage consumption.” Alcohol is a common denominator in underage traffic fatalities, and frequently leads to numerous other negative consequences.
The Corpus Christi Police Department has been working closely with TABC and the Nueces County District Attorney’s Office on these operations. NVID will continue to collaborate with all government and private entities to combat underage drinking and help accomplish our mission of working with the community to reduce crime, reduce the fear of crime and enhance public safety.