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 November 29th, 2012  
Compliance up to 86 percent for St. Lucie County stores refusing to sell alcoholic beverages to those under 21, according to Sheriff Mascara
An undercover operation Wednesday night found that 86 percent of stores in St. Lucie County complied with state laws prohibiting the sale of alcoholic beverages to those under 21, according to Sheriff Ken J. Mascara.

"I want to congratulate the merchants who were so overwhelmingly in compliance," Sheriff Mascara said. "This is notable because the stores were crowded Wednesday night with people buying Powerball tickets in the final hours they were on sale."

The 86 percent compliance rated was up 15 percentage points from the 71 percent compliance deputies and undercover civilians found last May in a previous undercover operation. Wednesday night's compliance rate also topped the 81 percent compliance found in an undercover operation last October.

The undercover, under-21 participants were volunteers from the Indian River State College criminal justice students, and each was carefully supervised by a St. Lucie County School Resource Deputy, Sheriff Mascara said.

Undercover teams visited convenience stores, grocery stores, gas stations, drug stores, bars and restaurants.

Of the 41 stores throughout St. Lucie County where undercover teams made alcohol purchase attempts, 35 refused to sell to minors and six did. At the offending stores, employees were given notices to appear in court for the second-degree misdemeanor of selling alcohol to a person under 21 years of age, a criminal offense.

The offending stores are:

Walgreens, 1603 South U.S.1, Fort Pierce

Mid-Oil Marathon station, 1200 West Midway Road, Fort Pierce

Sunoco station, 3110 South U.S.1, Fort Pierce

Shell station, 7961 South U.S.1, Port St. Lucie 

BP station, 2802 South U.S.1, Fort Pierce

Bayshore Valero station, 702 S.W. Bayshore Boulevard, Port St. Lucie

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