After a routine check by the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office on Monday, seven stores were caught selling alcohol or tobacco to minors.
ACSO’s Juvenile Relations Bureau regularly conducts compliance checks to ensure businesses don’t sell alcohol or tobacco to underage people. Minors from the Explorers program, a program for students interested in a law enforcement career, used money provided by deputies and went into gas stations and liquor stores Monday to check if they could buy alcohol or tobacco at the store, said Art Forgey, a spokesman for ACSO.
He said the six stores that committed the offense are: The Cooler 352, located at 9905 SE Hawthorne Road; Circle K, located at 9260 NW 39th Ave.; Shell gas station, located at 9700 NW 39th Ave.; Newberry Liquor, located at 24940 W. Newberry Road; Circle K, located at 7404 NE Waldo Road; and Circle K, located at 12771 SW State Road 45.
Forgey said the checks are often done during school breaks when students are most likely to spend more time out.
The first violation was caught Monday at 3:04 p.m., Forgey said. A total of six stores sold alcohol to individuals under 21.
Grove Park Grocery, located at 15105 SE Hawthorne Road, was caught selling tobacco to someone under 18 years old, Forgey said.
All the stores were reported to Florida’s Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco and could lose their license. Forgey said these checks are done to prevent minors from gaining access to alcohol and tobacco in the future.
“We would like to see 100 percent compliance from these retailers,” he said.