Clerks Sentenced for Selling Booze to Minors

Clerks at the Chevron store on the loop in Lufkin have a simple, but serious message for anyone under 21 planning to buy beer from their store.

"I wouldn't waste my time," said Brooke Dicks.

Dicks has taken the TABC's training for alcohol sellers twice. She knows it can be tricky distinguishing fake drivers licenses from real IDs, but the difference between adult licenses and under 21 identification is pretty easy to spot.

"You gotta look and see if it's got the [state] seal on it, if it's ripped, the lamination's coming off of it, [there is] a different person's picture's on it, it looks weird, then that's a no go," said Dicks.

Several stores in Angelina County have been targeted by the TABC's sting operation; most of them passed by refusing to sell alcohol to minors, but three of the stores ended up firing an employee for letting teenagers buy beer.

County Attorney Ed Jones said those clerks looked at the IDs presented, but did not ask any questions before making the sale.

"Initially, since we're kind of in new territory here having authorized the sale of beer and wine in Angelina County, I think that it's probably worthwhile for there to be some sting operations to make sure that the stores are complying with the law."

Jones believes part of the problem is kids selling to kids. At all stores, you have to be at least 21 to buy alcohol, but you don't have to be 21 to sell it.

Anyone who sells alcohol to a minor faces criminal charges and fines, but the establishment they work in also faces civil charges. All three clerks cited in the last sting worked at Polk Pick-It-Up stores in Angelina County.