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Putnam Sheriff Cracking Down On Underage Drinking

Reported: Apr. 25, 2014 10:57 PM EDT
Updated: Apr. 25, 2014 11:22 PM EDT
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HURRICANE, W.Va. (Sean Delancey) -- Putnam County Sheriff Steve DeWeese is on a campaign to cut down on underage alcohol consumption by cutting it off at the source.

Connor Lamb, 17, said his underage friends buy booze for parties on a regular basis. He said the thrill of breaking the law is enough to make kids his age disregard the rules.

"It's just more fun for them to go get it, so they can say they did,” he said. “That they broke the law."

The Putnam County Sheriff's Office and the West Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Administration are working to cut the flow of alcohol off at the source.

They've set up a two week sting operation, sending a minor in undercover. If the cashier sells, they cite them on the spot.

"I have kids myself, and I wouldn't want them to be able to get alcohol from any of these places," Stephanie Maynard of Hurricane said.

The Par Mar store was one of four businesses that failed the test, but Deweese said the number of stores that didn't sell to his "underage operative" is up from last year.

He said all stores need to train their cashiers to check IDs. The stings aren't over yet.

"If they have not provided proficient training to their cashiers, they need to train them because we're going to come see them in the 45 to 60 days," Deweese said.

One teen said he's happy to see deputies cracking down.

"That's good so that I don't have to worry about getting hit by a drunk driver or something," he said.

Deweese said he couldn't have done those stings without funding from the Governors Highway Safety Program.



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