Underage Drinking: What Others Are Doing

 In Stratford, Connecticut

A series of undercover enforcement operations has reduced illegal sales to minors from over 70 percent six months ago to less than ten percent last month. The following editorial in the

Connecticut Post shows the kind of public recognition and support that enforcement can bring.

For more information, contact Lieutenant Joseph LoSchiavo, Stratford Police Department at (203) 385-4159.

CONNECTICUT POST-November 29, 1999


Police stings boost liquor law compliance

It’s reassuring to know that Stratford police have seen marked improvement in town liquor sellers’ compliance with a state law forbidding the sale of alcohol to underage persons.

Police on Tuesday conducted a pre-Thanksgiving sting sending an underage “agent” to liquor stores to try to purchase alcoholic beverages. The “plant” was told to be truthful about being under 21 if any store personnel asked.

Of the 11 stores tested, all but one passed with flying colors. This was the fifth such sweep to have been conducted in town this year. Readers might find it revealing to contrast these results with those of an earlier operation in May, when 12 of 17 stores sold liquor to an underage buyer with no questions asked.

Indeed, the number of violations has fallen with each successive sting, showing consistent improvement. (First-time offenders face a three-day license suspension and a $750 fine.)

Evidently, the repeated tests have heightened awareness of this important issue where it counts most: among liquor vendors. Package store owners surely know by now that the law will be vigorously and constantly enforced. There’s no such thing as letting their guards down.

That comes as good news anytime, but particularly during this season of busy schedules and crowded highways. The last thing motorists need is an encounter with teens drinking in their cars-for that’s where many underage drinkers consume liquor.

The Stratford Spirit Shop, which sold alcohol to an underage buyer in this test and in a previous sweep, has correctly been referred to the state Liquor Control Commission.

We urge that agency to back up local police by imposing the strictest penalties at its disposal.

Underage Drinking: What Others Are Doing
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