March 15 -- In a 40-store sweep in St. Lucie County testing compliance with state liquor-sales laws, nine convenience stores were willing to sell alcohol to those under 21, said Sheriff Ken J. Mascara.
“That’s a non-compliance rate of 22 percent, which is more than 1 in 5, and that’s much too high,” Sheriff Mascara said. “I continue to get calls from parents who want to know where their children are buying alcohol. These compliance sweeps are a way to find that out and to stop it.”
School Resource Deputies in three teams conducted the sweep Wednesday night, using three volunteers younger than 21 who entered convenience stores and tried to buy liquor.
Sheriff Mascara said that with high school proms approaching, it’s important for convenience stores to get the message: Follow the law or face the consequences. “Our deputies served eight violators with misdemeanor arrests and one violation on a store clerk who was underage,” Sheriff Mascara said.
“A month ago, the non-compliance rate was even higher, at 38 percent, when we last conducted a compliance operation,” Sheriff Mascara said. “Though this month’s non-compliance rate was 22 percent, we want convenience stores to reduce non-compliance much more than that. We’re going to continue until we get non-compliance down to zero.”
The Sheriff said deputies will continue to conduct liquor-sales compliance sweeps to improve compliance and further the safety of county residents and motorists.
Here are the stores that were out of compliance Wednesday night:
* 10453 South U.S. 1 Port St. Lucie, Hess Express
* 6900 Okeechobee Road Fort Pierce, Chevron
* 7049 Okeechobee Road Fort Pierce, Mobil
* 2898 S. Kings Highway Fort Pierce Exxon
* 1206 Orange Avenue Fort Pierce
* 1624 Delaware Avenue Fort Pierce Circle K
* 1301 Delaware Avenue Fort Pierce Delaware Corner Food Store
* 850 South 21 Street Fort Pierce, Georgia Grocery
* 2421 Avenue D, Fort Pierce, Express Food Market