Police Bust Clerks For Selling Beer To Minors

Two 18-year-olds volunteered to spend their Memorial Day weekend walking into Gulfport convenience stores trying to buy beer. When asked for IDs, they would show them, to see if clerks would check the year.

Dianne Williams, a clerk at an Orange Grove convenience store did the right thing and the teens walked away empty-handed.

"I can't sell if you're not over 21, I can't sell and you have to check IDs period," Williams said.

She says teens often come into her store trying to buy alcohol. During the bust, 10 clerks did sell to the underage volunteers.

At the Chevron station on Dedeaux Road, the teens bought a Budweiser and the clerk who sold it to them got a citation.

"We just want to make sure that we don't have people out here under the age of 21 that are buying beer and getting behind the wheel intoxicated," said Alfred Sexton, Gulfport Police Department.

Gulfport police do these compliance checks about every other month. They check not only for alcohol sales, but also tobacco. They want to remind clerks that the simple task of asking for an ID can keep them out of a lot of trouble.

"There are some stiff fines, over 500 dollar fines that they're going to have to pay if they're caught selling products to a minor that are age restricted," Sexton said.

"I don't care what the fine is because I'm not fixing to go to jail for somebody being stupid," Williams said.

Gulfport police say they wish there were more clerks like Dianne Williams that would be vigilant about checking IDS. Every time clerks refuse to sell to the teen volunteers, it shows police that their efforts are working to keep alcohol out of the hands of minors.

Clerks who received citations will be required to appear in Gulfport municipal court. They could be fined or be required to perform community service.