Several Stores Cited for Selling Alcohol to Minors - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

03/08/07 - Angelina County

Several Stores Cited for Selling Alcohol to Minors

by Ramonica R. Jones

Since beer and wine sales started in Angelina County, there have been several sting operations there. During the last sting, ten stores were unknowingly part of the undercover operation; three of them ended up selling alcohol to minors.

Janet Taylor, executive director of The Coalition, said, "Once the word gets out and people have paid fines and lose their jobs, then it will be less and less of it. But a lot of the youth are telling us which stores will sell to them."

And knowing who's of age and who's not isn't hard, unless the person buying booze is using a fake driver's license.

"The adult's drivers license is horizontal, the youth's is vertical," said Taylor. "Their picture goes up and down and it has 'under 21' on it, so it has a totally different look to it and all our youth on the stings use their own drivers license."

But underage drinking is not the only problem opponents of alcohol sales are concerned about. Business owners who work near beer and wine outlets are also worried about the changes now happening in Angelina County.

Beer deliveries are happening regularly at a store on right next door to Jack & Jill Day Care on Raguet Street in Lufkin.

Owner Jesus Maldonado said, "We open 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., but sometimes, especially on Fridays, people buy [beer] early in the morning and they're still coming and coming [all day]."

The Maldonados don't like the idea of the kids they take care of being so close to alcohol, but they're also worried about the people who are buying alcohol.

Carlos Maldonado said, "I've seen a couple people walking with bottles in their hands. I've seen a person walk back and forth between the street and it's a pretty busy street."

The owner of the store put up a fence between his business and the day care center, but the Maldonados said it's not doing any good because they can still clearly see what's happening just a few feet away.

If you are interested in joining the fight against youth alcohol abuse, you are invited to a regional forum set for April 4 in Lufkin. For more information on the forum or to register, go to http://www.texansstandingtall.com/.  

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