Savannah PD continues crack down on underage alcohol sales

Savannah Police cracking down on underage alcohol sales

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Savannah Police continue to crack down on businesses selling alcohol to minors.

In November, two undercover operations resulting in more than a dozen citations all over the city.

Savannah Police told WTOC they don’t try to trick the businesses sending someone in with a fake ID, that it’s an actual underage person with their own ID card walking into the businesses trying to buy alcohol.

​If that underage person isn’t successful, the business gets a pat on the back and letter of congratulations for doing what they’re supposed to. If they sell to the minor, they’re cited.

“You just don’t keep saying, hey, you’re doing a good job. You go out there and you verify that they’re doing a good job. The goal is that we go out and have everybody pass," said Captain David Owens with Savannah Police.

There were two, two-day undercover operations Savannah Police’s Alcohol Beverage Compliance Unit did last month, and not all business passed. The first yielded nine citations out of 16 businesses tested. The latest round did better, with only 6 out of 16 failing the test.

“Even though we’re a law enforcement agency, we want the businesses to succeed. One of those, is like anyone else, is compliance checks, random checking to make sure they’re doing what they need to be doing,” Captain Owens said.

If a business isn’t, there’s a educational process, detailing what went wrong and how to fix it.

“That’s the whole purpose, to bring light outside of court to highlight, a debrief if you will, to highlight what occurred, and educate the business on the parameters used and what they can do to help insure they succeed in the future," said Owens.

There are still consequences in the form of fines imposed if there is a violation.

-1st offense: minimum fine of $500

-2nd offense, if within 12 months of the first, results in a $750 fine

-3rd offense, if within 18 months of the first, results in a $1,000 fine

-Any further offense, if within two years of the first, results in a notice to appear to a show cause hearing on why the establishment’s alcohol license should not be revoked.

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