Police cites two dozen convenience stores for underage sales
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - The Huntsville Police Department has announced that 24 convenience stores were cited for selling alcohol to minors. This comes after an investigation from the department.
The investigation was started after police received multiple tips from the community about convenience stores selling alcohol to minors.
The four-hour operation was conducted on November 17 and included HPD Community Resource Officers and two juveniles. The CROs and juveniles visited 32 stores to determine if they would sell alcohol to a minor. The juveniles had to tell the cashier the truth about their age and show ID if they were asked.
“I have a 19 year old and a 17 year old daughter and they come in places like this. There’s a gas station down the street as well. None of the places like this card,” Riyah Hughey said.
From north to south Huntsville, and everywhere in between, 24 gas station employees were caught selling alcohol to minors last week during a HPD operation.
One store on Patton Road has a pattern of doing so, according to one mother we talked to.
“Over here they just don’t care. It’s about the money,” Hughey said.
It was concerned parents who tipped off Huntsville Police.
“We do surveillance. We use juveniles. They go in, they have to be truthful about their age, they have to use their real ID, and they go in and purchase an alcohol beverage, and if the clerk sells it to them we go in and cite them for that,” Sgt. Chris Davis said.
Sergeant Davis says all the clerks who were cited will have to appear in court.
They also face up to a 1,000 fine or a year in jail.
“It’s concerning. We just want to ensure parents and the public that we take these complaints very seriously. and when we receive these complaints they will get addressed.”
But Riyah Hughey says gas stations are selling more than just alcohol to kids.
“My nephews are in the range of 15-17 and they buy cigar shells as well. I’m a smoker myself but it’s not something that I want for my children. Had I known better, and it was an addiction itself and it was so hard to quit, then I wouldn’t have done it,” she said.
Hughey says these workers are valuing sales over the health of children.
“Introducing smoke inhalation and alcohol into their systems is damaging their liver, their lungs, their throats It takes a village to raise a child and if we have people that are more interested in the all mighty dollar, then who’s going to protect our children,” she said.
As more tips come in, HPD will be back it.
If you have any information about stores selling to minors, call police.
This is a complete list of all the stores that were cited during the operation:
- 307 Andrew Jackson Way NE
- 501 Drake Avenue SW
- 508 Oakwood Ave.
- 611 Highway 72 E
- 2003 Meridian St.
- 2323 Golf Road SW
- 2525 Winchester Road
- 3121 Drake Ave. SW
- 3315 Governors Drive
- 3629 Patton Road SW
- 3726 Blue Spring Road NW
- 3906 Triana Blvd.
- 4113 Bob Wallace Ave. SW
- 4200 Bob Wallace Ave. SW
- 5990 Pulaski Pike NW
- 4011 University Drive NW
- 6150 University Drive NW
- 6278 University Drive NW
- 7131 Highway 72 W
- 7520 Highway 72 W
- 7584 Highway 72 W
- 8000 Memorial Pkwy SW
- 10001 Memorial Pkwy SW
- 11431 Memorial Pkwy SW
Selling alcohol to a minor is a misdemeanor offense. Those who sell alcohol to a minor can face up to a $1,000 fine or a year in jail. Subsequent offenses can result in increased fines or jail time.
Anyone with information about illegal sales of alcohol to minors is asked to contact (256) 746-4132.
Copyright 2021 WAFF. All rights reserved.