Everyone falls in liquor sting

"South Whidbey liquor, beer, and wine purveyors went 0-for-8 last month when officials from the Island County Sheriff's Office and the Washington State Liquor Control Board stung the merchants for selling alcohol to a minor.On April 21, a 19-year-old man employed by the state Liquor Control Board purchased alcoholic beverages at eight local stores. Island County Sheriff Mike Hawley said clerks in five of the stores did not check the man's identification, which was his own driver's license with his actual birthdate. Even more surprising, Hawley said, three clerks did check the man's identification and sold to him anyway.Caught in the sting were clerks at the Texaco Short Stop, the Freeland BP station, the Bayview Exxon, Casey's Red Apple Market, the Bailey Corner Store, Red Apple Market at Ken's Korner, Food Mart, and the Washington State Liquor Agency at Ken's Korner.Hawley said each of the clerks will be subject to a criminal fine for their alleged actions. In addition, each of the businesses where the illegal sales took place could draw civil citations from the Liquor Control Board. If a violation is severe enough, a store can even lose its liquor license.The sting was funded by the Reduce Underage Drinking (RUAD) grant shared by the Sheriff's Office, the Langley Police Department, the South Whidbey School District, and the South Whidbey Youth Center. Sheriff Hawley said the parties involved in the grant program are applying for another RUAD grant for the 2000-2001 school year."

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