Durant investigation reveals stores selling alcohol to minors

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DURANT, OKLAHOMA -- Chili's, Pizza Hut, Ceviche and Sports City, now have something specific in common.

"Four restaurants did actually serve a person under age 21," Capt. Mike Woodruff with the Durant Police Department said.

An investigation, led by Durant police and supported by Durant Public Schools, reveals that those four restaurants and 5 convenience stores, are selling alcohol to minors.

The convenience stores include Jerry's Drive Thru, Lucky Stop off SE 3rd Ave., Lakeway One-Stop, Kwik Chek off W. Main St. and Truck Stop #5.

"What would be commonly known as compliance checks," Woodruff said.

Volunteers, ages 17 to 19, agreed to go into stores and try to buy beer.

"If they are asked for an ID, they are to present an Oklahoma driver's license that has been issued to them. There's nothing mischevious, misleading or underhanded about it," Woodruff said.

Nine out of the 21 stores tested, failed.

A large increase from last year, when just one or two stores were caught serving alcohol to minors.

The employees who served the teens got misdemeanor citations.

"The business owner themselves could be arrested or cited for serving that alcoholic beverage," Woodruff said.

We talked to a manager at Sports City, who didn't want to go on camera, but said it was a new employee who served a minor, and that the restaurant does everything they can to prevent the illegal sale of alcohol.

"What I would tell the business and the business owners: check the ID. If you know they're under the age of 21, do not sell alcoholic beverages to anyone under the age of 21," Woodruff said.

The investigation was fully funded by the Under 21 grant, as part of an educational program.

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