When it comes to underage drinking Corpus Christi Police officers are always on high alert.
“It’s never good when underage consumption occurs and frequently, way too often results in tragedy,” says Lt. J.C. Hooper.
Which means tips are not ignored.
“We were receiving some information from citizens and from patrol officers, they had a suspicion that there were several convenience stores that were selling alcohol to underage youth,” says Hooper.
On Friday, July 6th, a team of detectives, officers, and teen police explorers went undercover.
The group visited 23 locations across the city, all the way from Padre Island to Calallen.
“They would go in by themselves, but they were wired, were under surveillance,” says Hooper.
In each location, the teens attempted to purchase a six-pack of beer.
If asked for an ID, they simply showed a student ID.
Lt. Hooper says the goal was not to trick the clerk.
If another form of ID was requested, the teens then showed an ID with their actual age.
But despite the obvious, eight of the 23 clerks sold the teens beer.
Even though clerks were caught on camera breaking the law, CCPD does not consider it a victory.
“Had we visited these 23 stores and none of our underage partners would’ve been able to buy, that would’ve been a success,” says Lt. Hooper.
Instead, they hope it sends the message, if you sell alcohol to teens you will pay the consequences.
“That’s an offense, it’s a class A misdemeanor,” says Lt. Hooper.
The clerks were given citations.
If convicted, they could pay a fine of up to $4,000 and face up to a year in prison.