Milton stores caught selling booze to minors

Undercover police catch a third of package stores

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MILTON, Ga. – Five local businesses were singled out by police Oct. 30 for selling alcohol to minors.

In Milton’s first investigation of the kind, Milton Police partnered with a 20-year-old man to send him into every store that sold packaged alcohol in the city. He then attempted to buy alcohol. He was explicitly told not to lie or hide his age – if asked for his license, he would provide it; if asked his age, he would give it.

Every business of the kind was targeted, said Milton Police Capt. Shawn McCarty.

“We got a couple of complaints about businesses selling to minors,” McCarty said. “If we’re going to [investigate], we’re going to do everybody.”

The minor would attempt to buy the alcohol. If he failed, a plain clothes officer would identify himself and explain the situation to the store workers. If the minor succeeded, the same thing would happen, along with a citation.

Five local businesses failed the test when cashiers working the registers failed to stop the transaction.

The Beverage Depot on Ga. 9, Beverage Mart on Ga. 9, the Publix supermarket on Ga. 9, the Aldi supermarket on Ga. 9 and the Shell gas station on Crabapple Road all failed to stop the young man from buying alcohol.

According to police reports, the Beverage Depot worker said he had gotten his dates mixed up; the Beverage Mart claimed the undercover man looked older than he was. The reports make no notes on how the others made the mistakes.

There are 15 businesses in Milton that sell alcohol. To have five fail is a third of the city’s package stores.

“I was surprised it was that many,” McCarty said. “I’m 39 years old and I still get carded.”

While he said the investigation was successful, McCarty said Milton Police have no plans to conduct a similar one on restaurants or similar businesses.

“This was complaint driven,” he said.

If a package store fails multiple times, the city may take its license away.