Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Donít blame clerks for teen drinking


I understand that underage consumption and selling of alcohol are both wrong and illegal, but I question who is the real victim. The teens, of course. The community, probably. However, I believe the real victim here is the clerks themselves and the stores that employee them.

For a first offense for selling to a minor, regardless if it's knowingly or not, it is a mandatory $500 fine plus court costs and/or up to a year imprisonment. A second offense is a $1,000 to $2,000 fine plus court costs and/or a year imprisonment. For people making $9-$10 per hour, in a down economy, it is a devastating impact to their finances. Even the stores are hit with a fine, and possibly could lose their liquor licenses.

As for the punishment on the teens, knowingly committing a crime, they are slapped with a mere $150 to $300 fine. Most of the time, they are being released on a verbal warning and made to dump out all alcohol beverages. No jail time, no probation and a minimal fine.

My problem with this is, simply, putting less punishment on the teens that are knowingly committing crimes, and more on the distracted, hard-working people living paycheck to paycheck. These stings help only a fraction of the underage drinking in this community, and more needs to be done in other areas. I know for a fact that most teens get their alcohol from older friends, family members and even some parents. We were all young once, and you know as well as I do that it's true.

A sheriff's newsletter to the stores who sell alcohol stated that "a majority of teens get their alcohol directly from the store." Really? Maybe it's true, if he looks like a 30-year-old man or the person sent into the store for the sting also looks 30. Maybe it's time to redirect the finger toward who is really to blame for underage drinking in this community. You know who you are.

Forrest Spencer

Hailey




About Comments

Comments with content that seeks to incite or inflame may be removed.

Comments that are in ALL CAPS may be removed.

Comments that are off-topic or that include profanity or personal attacks, libelous or other inappropriate material may be removed from the site. Entries that are unsigned or contain signatures by someone other than the actual author may be removed. We will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or any other policies governing this site. Use of this system denotes full acceptance of these conditions. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

The comments below are from the readers of mtexpress.com and in no way represent the views of Express Publishing, Inc.

You may flag individual comments. You may also report an inappropriate or offensive comment by clicking here.

Flagging Comments: Flagging a comment tells a site administrator that a comment is inappropriate. You can find the flag option by pointing the mouse over the comment and clicking the 'Flag' link.

Flagging a comment is only counted once per person, and you won't need to do it multiple times.

Proper Flagging Guidelines: Every site has a different commenting policy - be sure to review the policy for this site before flagging comments. In general these types of comments should be flagged:

  • Spam
  • Ones violating this site's commenting policy
  • Clearly unrelated
  • Personal attacks on others
Comments should not be flagged for:
  • Disagreeing with the content
  • Being in a dispute with the commenter

Popular Comment Threads



 Local Weather 
Search archives:


Copyright © 2019 Express Publishing Inc.   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.