Police crackdown on underage drinking - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Police crackdown on underage drinking

Metro DUI officers say they'll have a big job on their hands this summer when underage alcohol sales tend to spike.

And they say the reason is kids out of school looking for a buzz and stores looking for a buck.

Sergeant Michael Pope has busted thousands of stores in the last five years but he says some things never change.

"Sometimes we come to the same store and we make buys at the same store over and over and over," Pope said.

Officers with the Metro DUI squad hit the streets Friday night, armed with an underage buyer and the hits came quickly.

From gas stations to mom and pop corner shops to a Kroger grocery, of the 11 stores Action News 5 visited with Metro DUI, seven sold to the underage buyer.

When we asked one clerk why he didn't check for identification, he said: "We been asking for i.d. everyday and this just one, we have hard time fighting with the customers about i.d. and then I be harassed everyday about the i.d. I just made a mistake," Nathaniel Shields told us.

Sergeant Pope says the high rate of sales to underage buyers indicates a problem in Memphis and Shelby County that Metro DUI is not going to give up on.

"We're going to be out here, we're going to do our job," Pope said.

Clerks that were cited face a misdemeanor charge and fine.

Their employers have to go before the Beer Board where they could lose their alcohol license.

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