NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) – A $10,000 grant is paying for a city-wide sting to catch Nacogdoches businesses who sell booze to minors.
Businesses are being reminded, some the hard way that you have to be 21 to purchase alcohol.
KTRE went undercover with the Nacogdoches Police Department to find out what happens when a teenager tries to buy beer.
This 16-year-old is walking confidently into a Nacogdoches convenience store. He hopes to walk out…with beer.
"Thank you," said the minor.
"He made a sale," said the officer.
It's as simple as that-- he's not trying to fool anyone.
"How old are you?" asked a clerk.
It's part of a sting operation, cracking-down on businesses selling alcohol to minors.
"They are supposed to be using I.Ds and keeping our youth that are a risk away from alcoholic beverages," said Sergeant Butch White.
Within just the first hour, officers caught three businesses selling alcohol to the minor.
"There for a little while it was looking like the 50% range and that's not good," said White.
White waits across the street in an unmarked car. The high-schooler comes out, beer in hand.
"She ask for I.D?"
"No," said the teen.
Will this clerk check for an I.D? Yes, but they actually sold beer to the teenager anyway.
"Some are just so overwhelmed or busy at the time, they're just going through the motions so to speak but not actually reading the date or doing the math to figure out is this person actually 21?" said White.
Thursday night, five stores sell beer to the minor and fifteen stand their ground.
"1994?" asked a clerk.
"How can you buy beer, right?" he asked.
One clerk even gives the teen a short lecture.
"She I.D/d me and she told me I had to be 21 to buy alcohol and 18 to buy cigarettes and she made me go put it back," said the minor.
Officers aren't writing citations yet, but in a few days they'll know they were busted.
"Clerks, they could be looking at jail time, possible fines and or probation," said White.
Businesses face up to a 12 day suspension, costing as much as 300 bucks per a day.
Officers' message to businesses: check I.D's carefully or pay the price.
Clerks cited for selling alcohol to minors face fines up to $4,000 or a year in jail.
We did not name the businesses involved tonight -- police have not issued any citations.