Baton Rouge, La. – Agents with the Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control conducted 6,598 compliance checks during the agency’s 2014 Summer Crackdown and issued 895 citations. Of those citations, 505 were issued for alcohol sales to a minor and 390 were issued for tobacco sales to a minor. Totals for the entire summer were approximately 14% of businesses checked actually sold.
Throughout the three-month crackdown, ATC agents conducted more than double the number of compliance checks conducted during the summer of 2013. The initiative is an attempt by ATC to follow through on its mission to prevent access of alcoholic beverages and tobacco products to underage persons. Statistics show an increase in teenage alcohol consumption during summer months.
“The fact we are using only 16 & 17 year old operatives and getting this many sales is concerning. Let me be clear, there is nothing good that can come out of selling alcohol to a minor. And if you do, ATC will hold you accountable,” said Commissioner Troy Hebert. “This permit is a privilege, not a right,” Commissioner Hebert added.
This is the second year Commissioner Hebert has ordered agents to increase the number of random compliance checks at alcohol and tobacco retail outlets statewide. Anyone caught selling or serving alcohol or tobacco products to minors are subject to criminal and administrative charges. Businesses face fines in the thousands of dollars and penalties that could result in suspension or revocation of their alcohol and tobacco permits.
In an attempt to help educate kids throughout the summer months, ATC agents and employees, including K-9 Ace, held nearly three dozen educational presentations statewide. Agents spoke to approximately 2,500 children and adults throughout the state about the effects of early alcohol and tobacco use and the dangers of synthetic drugs. Presentations were given at summer camps, area YMCA facilities, city parks and organizational meetings. To find out more information about the educational presentations log on to the ATC website at www.atc.la.gov