Selectmen in Billerica, Massachusetts, have issued two-day suspensions to half of the liquor stores in town after police said they were found selling to minors.
"Alcohol and minors just don't mix. It's something we take very seriously," Selectman Ed Giroux said.
Billerica Deputy Police Chief Roy Frost said they are used to seeing one or two violations during compliance checks, but not six.
"We send in an undercover person under the age of 21 who goes in there and attempts to purchase alcohol. There's no attempt to fool anybody," Frost explained. "There is nobody telling anybody they are older than they are. There is no identification that’s shown that's fake or otherwise. So it's just to see they are being asked for their ID."
Frost said employees did not ask the undercover teens for identification before selling them six packs of Bud Light on Aug. 2.
"As far as trying to say it was an accident and it never happens to me... well unfortunately it did," Giroux said.
As a result of the compliance checks, five of the town's 12 liquor stores were issued 5-day suspensions, with three days held in abeyance for a year. A sixth store received an 8-day suspension because it had already received a previous liquor license violation within the past seven years. It will serve four days, with four held in abeyance.
The suspensions were scheduled as follows:
- Lincoln Liquors, 480 Boston Rd., Oct. 8 and 16
- Jim's Quick Stop, 502A Boston Rd., Oct. 9 and Oct. 15
- Turnpike Market, 509 Middlesex Turnpike, Oct. 1, 9, 15 and 23
- Billerica Liquors, 25 Boston Rd., Oct. 22 and 30
- Georgios Liquors, 480 Boston Rd., Oct. 8 and 16
- 129 Liquors, 252 Salem Rd., Nov. 5 and Nov. 13
Billerica Liquors told NBC10 Boston it was their first violation. Although a 2-day suspension will hurt business, they said they are glad the police are working to stay vigilant.
One store that wanted to remain anonymous said that nobody is perfect and they are being held to an unattainable standard. They said a 2-day suspension for a first-time violation is unfair.