ABC Cracks Down on Illegal Sales in Virginia

Reports find that about one in every eight stores in Virginia sells tobacco or alcohol to underage buyers.

  The Virginia Department of Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) now has a program to see if alcohol and tobacco retailers follow the law when it comes to selling to underage buyers.

The state conducted more than 9,700 underage buyer inspections, and 13% of the time, retailers failed the inspection by selling to the underage buyers or by committing another infraction, according to Capital News Service.

In the Alexandria area of Northern Virginia, 17% of businesses failed the inspection. In the Richmond-Fredericksburg area, 16% failed to comply with standards. The Roanoke and Southwest Virginia areas performed best, failing only 9% of the inspections.

Currently, it’s illegal to sell tobacco products to people under 18 and alcohol to people under 21 in Virginia. Selling alcohol to minors is a Class 1 misdemeanor. Stores that violate this law face civil penalties and can have their ABC licenses suspended.

One Henrico County convenience store that sold to an underage buyer was ined $10,000, and a cafe in Centreville, Va. was fined $8,000 for the same crime, according to ABC’s data.

ABC plans to continue using teenage operatives for the alcohol and tobacco underage buyer inspection program.



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