ABC agents work to stop sale of alcohol to minors - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

ABC agents work to stop sale of alcohol to minors

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Part of an ABC agent's job is to prevent minors from drinking and stop underage sales. Part of an ABC agent's job is to prevent minors from drinking and stop underage sales.
COLBERT COUNTY, AL (WAFF) -

ABC agents let cameras roll as they hit the streets looking to bust stores selling booze to minors.

Agents hired several underage decoys to try and buy alcohol from a list of stores in Colbert County.

ABC agents say underage drinking is a big problem in the Tennessee Valley.

Part of their job is to prevent minors from drinking, and that means putting a stop to underage sales.

"There are too many kids that are drinking and driving and getting hurt and alcohol poisoning. Alcohol intoxication is a big problem statewide, nationwide for these kids - and that's why we're out here," said Gene Schrieber with the ABC Board Enforcement Division.

Eighteen stores in Colbert County were on the radar for ABC agents on this night.

"We provide the money. We are monitoring the decoys for their safety and for the preservation of evidence, and the minors are sent in the stores to check - just like they were buying a candy bar," said Schrieber.

The night got off to a slow start as the decoys were denied time after time. The decoys pressed some of the clerks, but they stood strong.

"We give the clerks and the store owners opportunities to say no," Schrieber said.

Halfway into the night, there was a sale.

The decoy left the store to hand over the six pack of beer, while agents went inside to talk to the clerk - eventually issuing a citation.

"There's absolutely no law on the books that says you have to sell to anybody. If you have a doubt, then don't make the sale," he said. "They need to be vigilant no matter how busy they are, no matter what's going on in the store. It's easy to be distracted. It's easy to make mistakes, which we all do, but they need to be vigilant. This is a serious problem. We take it seriously."

Out of the 18 stores checked, only two stores sold alcoholic beverages to the decoys.

According to ABC agents, the minimal sales is a good sign for both agents and store owners.

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