Nacogdoches bars trying to curb underage drinking with 18 and up clientele

Joy Moore bartends at The Sports Shack
Joy Moore bartends at The Sports Shack
Ricky Miller owns Bullfrogs Sports Bar and The Annex dance club
Ricky Miller owns Bullfrogs Sports Bar and The Annex dance club
Mark Almaguer arrested for furnishing alcohol to minors
Mark Almaguer arrested for furnishing alcohol to minors

By Morgan Thomas - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – Nacogdoches Police made their second arrest for furnishing alcohol to minors in the past three weeks. Bar owners, management and law enforcement say they're teaming up against underage drinking in a college town.

Nacogdoches bars and restaurants located around campus cater to a younger crowd.

"Sixty percent of the clientele is underage - you do remember that you don't turn 21 until you're a junior or senior," said Ricky Miller, Owner of Bullfrogs Sports Bar and the Annex night club.

To stay in business, most clubs and bars are 18 and up says Miller. He says it's challenging to keep those underage away from the alcohol.

Sports Shack bartender, Joy Moore, agreed.

"It's an everyday thing especially when it gets more crowded it gets a lot harder so we have more staff come in the later it gets," said Moore.

The first step in stopping underage drinking is to check ID.

"It's a scanning system - they walk in the door, scan the ID and it tells you if they're over or under. It takes a lot of the brainwork out of it," said Miller.

Next, they designate who can drink versus who can't.

To drink at The Annex on busy weekend nights you better be wearing an armband that identifies you as 21 and over. However, even the armband isn't safe from schemers, sometimes, they take them off, giving them to underage friends.

"We've seen bubble gum, I've seen really tiny clips, I've seen people have super glue and tear them off - you have to watch that," said Miller.

Over at the Sports Shack, they stamp anyone who's under 21.

"You can't wash it off with soap or water so it stays on," said Moore.

NPD says this is a priority, and officers are doing walk-throughs in the bars and clubs. In fact on Saturday night, they arrested Mark Almaguer for furnishing alcohol to minors in Miller's dance club.

"Right in front of the policeman, a 21 year-old goes and gets drinks, and hands it to them. That's a tough one to stop," said Miller.

Miller says he's happy to team up law enforcement because it's the only way to win the battle while keeping the clubs 18 and up.

During the same incident Saturday night at The Annex, Nacogdoches police also spotted a car driving very fast over a curb, almost hitting one of their police units. They stopped, and arrested, the driver for DWI.

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