Sterling Heights police launch education program for stores about minors and alcohol

STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. (WXYZ) - Sterling Heights police are educating convenience store employees about the dangers and consequences of selling alcohol or tobacco to minors.

Officers say it’s important for store employees to do their own police work when a minor attempts to purchase.

Police have been handing out booklets to several convenience stores and gas stations to make sure employees know what to look out for and be aware of, if a minor attempts to purchase alcohol or tobacco.

Officers aren’t mincing words when telling convenience store owners about the consequences of selling alcohol or tobacco to underage children.

“It’s the education part.  We really want to get that out there and let them know, and in the tail end of things if we have to come out and enforce, yeah we will,” says Sgt. David Allen.

With prom season quickly approaching teenagers can be tempted to purchase alcohol or tobacco products.

“Everybody does it, so that’s where they learn from,” says 9th grader Joseph Kathawa. “They learn from older kids and just think it’s alright to do when its prom night.”

CARE of southeast Michigan says this is a great opportunity for teens to make a positive impact in the community.

“I think it makes an impact on the vendors as well and the see there are teens in the community that really care about their community and their peers,” says Dunya Barash.

Sterling Heights police also reiterate the severe penalties of selling alcohol or tobacco to underage individuals.

“Later on down the road, if we have to come back and enforce we will, but they’re educated and hopefully are doing some proactive police work before hand,” says Allen.

The stores have been warned. What happens in the future is now up to the store owners and if they sell to minors.

Sterling Heights police and the teens will be going out again two more times educating the store owners about the penalties and the effects of selling alcohol or tobacco products to minors.

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