Four local businesses caught selling alcohol to minors - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Four local businesses caught selling alcohol to minors

LAWTON, OK._Four local businesses failed a routine compliance check Wednesday.

They sold alcohol to minors.

But here is the catch: the minors were followed into the store by an undercover state agent. 

If the store clerk or waitress sold alcohol to a minor, the agent would present himself, ticket them, or warn them, that the next time the consequences could be more serious. 

The program is called Too Much To Lose, and its purpose is to end the sale of alcohol to underage buyers.

In one van, there were two 16-year-olds, one guy and one girl.

The guy was never sold to, the girl on the other hand, was sold to twice.

There was a second van, hitting the other side of town and those kids also busted two locations.

Underage drinking is not a new problem, but it is a growing one.

Nowadays, if a teenager knows what they are doing, they can walk out of a liquor store or convenience store with an illegal bottle of their choice.

Our female decoy said it was as easy as going to buy a cheeseburger at a restaurant.

"Well, I just walk in there and act all confident. You can't act shy, and you just pick out something and you go up to the register and most of the time they always ask for your id and you give it to them and they just really don't care. They'll look at your age and just give it back to you and you can pretty much buy whatever," said the female decoy.

That is with showing a real ID and admitting their real age.

The Two Much To Lose program keeps things honest…no flirting, no saying, 'please' and no asking twice.

The van is loaded with law enforcers from around the state, coming to learn a few tricks of the trade.

Our first stop…a Stripes convenience store on Sheridan.

They passed.

Next stop…Cache Road Liquor.

Our first bust.

The clerk took the female decoy's ID and sold to her anyway.

Our ABLE agent, Mike Randol, says the clerk's reactions are often the same.

"He knew it immediately. He shook his head, put his head down, he said, ‘I know I just screwed up, I knew it', and snapped his fingers," said Randol.

We hit up Bianco's Italian Restaurant and Hoffman's, a bar across the street.

Both establishments passed. 

We took what officers thought would be a long shot…the Walgreens on Lee.

But, much to our surprise, our female decoy walked out with a six pack.

Mike Randol says the way to stop the sale of alcohol to minors is to get everyone on the same page.

That means law enforcement, store employees and even city officials.

He says they all play a part.

"They need to be more aware to the fact that...how many lives it's costing, how much money it's costing the people in the state of Oklahoma and how much it's costing in so many different areas. I think if we can do that, if we can get that together, than that message gets out even more," said Randol.

The other van full of decoys and undercover law enforcers busted the other two establishments.

They were the West Cache Discount Liquor and the Country Mart on 67th Street.

Agent Mike Randol told us that clerks who are caught selling to minors can receive fines upwards of $1,000.

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