Sheriff’s office makes arrests for alcohol sales to minors

Published 7:50 am Friday, August 17, 2012

A recent Bogalusa Police Department crackdown on sales of alcohol to minors showed that most, but not all, local establishments do check IDs before selling to people that are potentially underage. When the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office did a sweep of its own on Friday, Aug. 10 the results were similar, but the WPSO got a little lagniappe.

The sheriff’s office sent some underage people into 20 parish businesses, and employees at eight of the establishments ended the day with citations for sale of alcohol to minors, according to Sheriff Randy Seal.

While employees of 12 of the businesses complied with the law and refused to sell alcohol to the too-young people who were assisting the WPSO deputies, eight asked for no identification and sold them alcohol, he said.

The need for the enforcement was demonstrated as deputies were returning to the sheriff’s office in Franklinton that night. They intercepted and arrested a minor who was driving while intoxicated. He was booked into the Washington Parish Jail.

“Our deputies may have saved the young man’s life,” Seal said. “He was well over the limits allowed by law and was a danger to himself and others as he drove the highways of our parish. We will not tolerate those who drink and drive in Washington Parish.”

The sale of alcohol to minors is not just a legal matter. It’s a safety issue with potentially deadly affects on even innocent passers-by. Local law enforcement is paying attention.

The WPSO will continue to make random checks of stores and lounges that serve alcohol to help make certain that they are following the law in requiring identification and refusing to sell to minors, Seal said.

“The youth of our parish are a valuable resource and we will do all we can to protect them,” he said. “Those who furnish or sell alcohol to minors are subject to arrest and prosecution. We will continue to make spot checks of all establishments that sell alcohol. I caution all employees to make certain they are following the law by requiring proof of age before selling alcoholic beverages.”

Seal commended the establishments and their employees who were in compliance with the law during the sweep.