Local News

SO: 26 out of 31 stores pass alcohol compliance sale checks

— The Highlands County Sheriff’s Office’s crime suppression team conducted alcohol sales compliance checks Aug. 15 at 31 locations within the county. These compliance checks are part of the sheriff’s strategy to help reduce underage drinking and access to alcohol.

The sheriff’s office, working with the Drug Free Highlands initiative, has been conducting periodic compliance checks on vendors for several years now. In 26 of the 31 stores visited, clerks checked ID and refused to sell alcohol to an underage person.

Those stores were: Citgo, 1310 U.S. 27 N., Avon Park; Circle K, 998 U.S. 27 N, Avon Park; Avon Food Mart, 4 U.S. 27 N., Avon Park; 7 Days, 107 U.S. 27 S., Avon Park; Citgo, 901 U.S. 27 S., Avon Park;

Sunoco, 999 U.S. 27 S., Avon Park; Shell, 6229 U.S. 27 N., Sebring; Citgo Express, 3659 U.S. 27 N., Sebring; Taylor Food Mart/Marathon, 3901 U.S. 27 N., Sebring; Circle K, 2101 Hammock Road, Sebring; Hill’s Market, 3000 Sparta Road, Sebring; Taylor Food Mart/Marathon, 2912 U.S. 27 S., Sebring; Circle K, 3030 US 27 S., Sebring; L&M Grocery, 1411 Kenilworth Blvd., Sebring; Saunak’s Corner, 306 Ridgewood Drive, Sebring; Shell, 629 Ridgewood Drive, Sebring; Jay’s Discount Beverage, 2801 S.R. 17, Sebring; Publix, 3610 US 27 N., Sebring; Love Bugs, 4200 US 27 N., Sebring; M&H Food Store, 2532 C.R. 17 S., Sebring; Taylor Food Mart/Marathon, 3390 C.R. 17 S., Sebring; Chevron/Food Mart, 2758 US 27 N., Lake Placid; Lupita Grocery, 2769 Highlands Blvd., Lake Placid; Fiesta Mexicana, 113 N. Main St., Lake Placid; USA Grocery, 244 C.R. 621, Lake Placid; and Quick Mart, 1070 U.S. 27 N.,Lake Placid.

Five locations were not in compliance, and the clerks in each of the stores were cited, authorities said. An affidavit for sale of an alcoholic beverage to a person under the age of 21, which is a misdemeanor offense, was forwarded to the State Attorney’s office.

Those locations were: Circle K, 7916 U.S. 27 N., Sebring; Quick Mart/Citgo,1409 U.S. 27 N., Sebring; One Stop Mini Mart, 5116 Schumacher Road, Sebring; Circle K, 2742 U.S. 27 S., Lake Placid; and Jalisco, 982 S. Main St., Lake Placid.

Sheriff Susan Benton was appreciative of businesses in their “continuing efforts to protect our youth by requiring ID before selling alcoholic beverages. She also complimented the work of the Crime Suppression Team in conducting these compliance checks throughout the county,” authorities said in a news release.

“The partnership between the businesses being vigilant and our deputies enforcing the laws is resulting in a safer community for everyone,” she said. “Thank you also to Drug Free Highlands for their leadership in promoting a healthy and safe community for Highlands County.”