Purchase photos

Four cited for improper sale of beer

10/5/2012

By MIKE CORN

mcorn@dailynews.net

Employees at four Hays businesses received citations Wednesday for selling alcohol to a minor.

The Hays Municipal Court citations all were part of a joint operation by the Hays Police Department and the state Alcohol and Beverage Control office of the Department of Revenue.

Hays Police Chief Don Scheibler said three HPD officers and two ABC agents on Wednesday visited 21 businesses in Hays licensed to sell cereal malt beverages. The ABC used two under-21 volunteers to attempt to buy alcohol.

In only four of the cases were the two able to make a purchase.

According to HPD, the four are Cerv's East, 2701 Vine; Pizza Hut, 2102 Vine; China Garden, 2503 Vine; and University Convenience Express, 335 W. Eighth.

The four people who actually sold the alcohol were issued citations to appear in municipal court on a charge of furnishing cereal malt beverages to an underage person.

The officials also spoke with managers and employees about the incident.

Scheibler said he doesn't think the sales are an indication the businesses are ignoring the law.

Instead, he thinks they were instances of "employee error or employment misjudgment" in agreeing to sell the alcohol.

"It was more of an educational thing," Scheibler said Thursday.

It's not uncommon for ABC to use under-21 volunteers to ferret out problems with checking IDs, something also done on tobacco sales as well.

Wednesday's efforts also came just prior to the start of Oktoberfest activities.

ABC agents will join police for enforcement activities Friday and Saturday in Hays.

"We'll have additional officers out for Oktoberfest," Scheibler said, and officers will be doing DUI saturation patrols.

"We know we'll have a lot of people, alumni in town. We want to keep them safe."