Published: Jan 08, 2012 02:00 AM
Modified: Jan 07, 2012 07:26 PM
The Hillsborough Police Department - in a partnership with the Orange County ABC Board and the Northern Orange Partnership for Alcohol and Drug Free Youth - has started an Alcohol Law Enforcement Response Team to focus on alcohol-related crimes enforcement.The eight officers on the team have received training on Alcohol Beverage Commission laws and procedures; constitutional law and search and seizure; party dispersal; campus law enforcement options; and documentation and report writing. The ALERT officers will focus on:
DWI and alcohol-related traffic enforcement
Compliance operations targeting sales to underage buyers
Party response Public and youth education
On Dec. 15, Hillsborough ALERT officers with the help of officers from Carrboro and Chapel Hill held their first compliance check operation at local stores. Specially trained officers visited nine locations in Hillsborough to see whether employees would sell alcohol to an underage person assisting in the operation.
Employees at two locations - Steve's One Stop, 909 W. King St. and Lunsford's Food Mart, 570 Cornelius St. - sold alcohol in violation of state law and ABC Commission rules, according to a news release. They were charged with selling alcohol to a person less than 21 years old. Those charged are listed below along with the business locations.
The operation was part of an ongoing effort by the Hillsborough Police Department and partner agencies to prevent access to alcohol by underage people.
"We will be doing more compliance operations in the future," Hillsborough Police Chief Duane Hampton said in the release.Surveys conducted last year by the Northern Orange Partnership for Alcohol and Drug Free Youth found problems countywide with stores failing to check identification when selling alcohol. In January, 70 percent of stores surveyed in the county reportedly sold alcohol to a "young-looking" patron without checking identification. In November, a reported 58 percent of stores surveyed failed to check IDs. Hillsborough also has had recent issues with underage drinking at college fraternity parties.
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