ENID, Okla. — Garfield County Sheriff’s Office conducted alcohol-compliance checks over the course of three weeks and found that eight local retailers sold alcohol to minors.
In partnership with the state Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, the sheriff’s office went to 30 stores on March 31, April 7 and April 14.
Two volunteers under the age of 21 used their valid IDs and attempted to purchase alcohol with money the sheriff’s office provided, Undersheriff Shawna Pitman said.
“(The volunteers) can get a little container of wine or something that’s fairly inexpensive,” Pitman said. “They put their money on the counter ... and then it’s up to the clerk at that point.”
Deputy Cole Harber conducts age perception tests with the juveniles before the compliance checks and is inside the stores with them to ensure their safety at all times, Pitman said.
The alcohol is taken away from the minors as soon as they return to the vehicle and is secured into evidence. Pitman said it’s important, especially for law enforcement, to take care of and watch over youth because “they are our future.”
“It’s important that we educate our young people about the dangers of alcohol,” Pitman said. “Alcohol is dangerous, and it’s pretty accessible to them. You see just how accessible it is to them when these businesses are selling — they’re not paying attention to them. People aren’t paying attention if they’re just hardly looking at someone’s identification card, setting it back down on the counter and just making an easy sale. If they’d just take the time to look at those cards and tell them, ‘Look, you’re not old enough.’ It’s not rocket science.”
According to Oklahoma Statute Title 37B, the punishment for selling to underage people can be: misdemeanor for the first offense with a fine of not more than $500; misdemeanor with a fine of not more than $1,000 for anyone previously convicted of selling to minors twice within 10 years; and a felony and a fine of not more than $2,500, not more than five years in prison, or both.
The individual is charged, not the store, Pitman said. One store they went to was closed, and another location no longer sold alcohol.
Locations that checked ID correctly and did not sell were:
• Proof Wine and Spirits.
• Walgreens, 3915 W. Garriott.
• Holdings, 201 N. Oakwood.
• OnCue, 3904 W. Willow.
• Sooner Stop.
• Pete’s #1.
• Walmart Supercenter.
• Holdings, 3017 W. Garriott.
• Oak Mart.
• Hi Mart.
• Jumbo Foods, 2311 W. Willow.
• Casey’s General Store.
• Dollar General, 129 S. Oakwood.
• Grand Express.
• Food Mart.
• Walmart Neighborhood Market.
• The Wine Press.
• Holdings, 905. N. Cleveland.
• Jiffy Trip, 2327 W. Garriott.
• JB Liquor Store.
Locations that checked ID incorrectly and sold:
• One Stop Shop.
• Pete’s #2.
• Dollar General, 4101 N. 4th.W
• Rock Island Liquor and Wine.
• Koehn’s Liquor Store.
• Sundance Liquor.
• Jiffy Trip, 5314 W. Garriott.
• King’s Gas Station.