Charges Filed Against Package Store Clerks for Selling to Minors
On January 9, 2017 the Tewksbury Police Department put all proprietors/licensees of beer, wine, and liquor establishments (restaurants, bars, and retailers) on notice (see attached notice delivered by Police Department personnel) that part of the Department’s mission is combatting underage drinking and that, as in years past, we will continue deploying law enforcement initiatives that include compliance checks, reverse stings, retail surveillance patrols, shoulder taps, and party patrols in an effort to do so.
On March 7, 2017 the Tewksbury Police Department conducted an undercover operation to check on the compliance of establishments with regard to serving alcohol to people under the age of 21. During the operation an 18 year old was sent into several Tewksbury retail stores to attempt to purchase alcohol with no identification. Hobarts Country Store (2514 Main St.), Smitty’s Liquors (1091 Main St.), White Dove Pantry (910 Andover St.) and Tewksbury Convenient Food Mart (160 Shawsheen St.) were all found in violation by selling alcohol to an 18 year old without asking for identification. Several other stores asked the male for identification and turned him away when it was not produced.
Each of the four involved clerks at these establishments has been charged with selling alcohol to a person under the age of 21. This information has been forwarded to the Massachusetts Alcohol Beverages Control Commission for review and to the Town of Tewksbury Licensing Authority for administrative action. The Tewksbury Police Department is committed to the enforcement of underage drinking and will continue to partner with the community to combat this very serious issue. Any loss of life or injury from underage drinking is one too many.
The Tewksbury Police Department urges any citizens who suspect criminal activity to call the Dispatch Center @ 978-851-7373. If you wish to remain anonymous please call the Tip Line @ 978-851-0175 or send an email to email@example.com
Copy of letter hand delivered to proprietors
January 05, 2017
This document shall serve as official notice to all proprietors/licensees of beer, wine, and liquor establishments (restaurants, bars, and retailers) that part of the Tewksbury Police Department’s mission to keep all the populations we serve safe is combatting underage drinking and we take the matter very seriously.
Young drivers lack driving experience and have difficulty scanning their environments to detect imminent hazards. Coupling alcohol with these limitations worsens these driving weaknesses. Additionally, drinking is associated with other risky behaviors such as speeding, running red lights, making illegal turns, and not wearing seat belts.
Research and experience confirms strong enforcement helps to reduce underage drinking by limiting access to alcohol, reducing opportunities for youth to drink, and curbing impaired driving. Consistent, vigorous enforcement reinforces the message that adults and youth must be responsible for their actions and that violating the law is unacceptable. Enforcement helps to validate the activities of prevention specialists and can help treatment specialists to identify youth in need of help. Consistent, vigorous enforcement has also been shown to create a reputation that can significantly reduce underage drinking in the community.
As in years past, we will continue deploying law enforcement initiatives that include compliance checks, reverse stings, retail surveillance patrols, shoulder taps, and party patrols. Through a combination of these initiatives, the Tewksbury Police Department will enforce a zero-tolerance policy on minors who seek to circumvent the law and those people and businesses that allow them to do so. Whether you are under age, plan to sell to a minor, or buy alcohol for a minor, we will be on the lookout. Offenders will be criminally prosecuted and businesses will be referred to the licensing authority for administrative action. The Department’s mission is to partner with the community to combat this very serious issue.
Your cooperation with our plight to combat underage drinking could save a life. Any loss of life or injury from underage drinking is one too many. Please help us make sure that the youth of our community are safe…
Timothy B. Sheehan
Chief of Police
Tewksbury Police Department
Cc: Richard A. Montuori, Town Manager
Chairman Bruce Panilaitis, Board of Selectmen