SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The Savannah Police Department says a two-day operation into underage alcohol sales by its Alcohol Beverage Compliance Unit resulted in a 56-percent fail rate and fines to the failed establishments.
Officials say during the operation, which ran Nov. 14-15, underage subjects visited 16 businesses around Savannah, ranging from package shops to convenience stores, to determine if they comply with Georgia law in regard to alcohol sales. Out of the 16, police say nine failed the operation.
Police say the managers or licensees of the establishments were notified of the alcohol sold, that the buyer was underage, if the buyer was checked for identification, how the alcohol was served or sold, and what actions would be taken by law enforcement. The Georgia Department of Revenue Alcohol and Tobacco Division will follow up with the businesses on fines they will face as a result of the failure.
“The number of fails is concerning and shows that businesses need to spend more time educating employees on this matter. Ultimately, this is the responsibility of the business owner,” said Lt. Shinita Young, of SPDs ABC Unit. “We have been conducting these checks all year and will continue to conduct these checks, hoping to see a 100 percent pass rate. We have to ensure that our youth are protected when it comes to alcohol consumption. We urge all businesses to speak with their employees about the consequences of not carding and turning a blind eye to underage sales. Failure to comply not only affects the business and their alcohol license but also the safety of our youth.”
The following businesses were cited, according to SPD:
- The Hub at Montgomery, 4402 Montgomery St.
- Zip-N-Package, 2726 Ogeechee Road
- Pump N Go, 2320 Ogeechee Road
- Tailgate Sports Bar, 11215 Abercorn St.
- Lucky’s (S&M Foodmart), 11711 Largo Drive
- Tibet Liquor, 104 Tibet Ave.
- Savannah Beverage Mart, 8614 White Bluff Road
- Smart Stop, 1114 Abercorn St.
- Ram Food Mart, 1101 E. Montgomery Crossroads
The following businesses passed, according to SPD:
- Shyam, 2201 W. Bay St.
- Montgomery Market, 4305 Montgomery St.
- Shiv’s #4, 4004 Montgomery St.
- Habersham Beverage Center, 7927 Abercorn St.
- Lucky’s Convenience Mart, 10004 Abercorn St.
- Murphy’s Express Grill, 14080 Abercorn St.
- Walgreens #5368, 11509 Abercorn St.
Savannah Police say the ABC Unit will remain vigilant and continue to conduct operations regarding underage alcohol sales and over-consumption.
The seven businesses that passed will receive letters of congratulations from the Savannah Police Department.
According to the City of Savannah’s Alcohol Beverage Ordinance, a first offense results in a minimum fine of $500; second offense, if within 12 months of the first, results in a $750 fine; third offense, if within 18 months of the first, results in a $1,000 fine; and any further offense, if within 24 months of the first, results in issuance of a notice to appear to show cause for why the establishment’s alcohol license should not be revoked.