The Cheatham County Sheriff’s Office recently conducted an undercover operation involving the underage purchase of alcohol. On Friday, March 16, every store in the county that sells alcohol was visited and tested.
Cheatham deputies and school resource officers oversaw the operation that cited nine county establishments who failed to follow applicable alcohol sale laws.
The county-wide operation comes just over a week after the “Cheatham Cares” town hall meeting that addressed concerns of underage drinking; there have been four similar undercover operations since Mike Breedlove became sheriff.
As part of an ongoing endeavor, the Cheatham County Sheriff’s Office intends to work to keep businesses in compliance and prevent alcohol sales to underage consumers.
Breedlove, who says he is not only committed to fighting Cheatham’s drug epidemic but also preventing students from illegal purchases of alcohol, stated, “As your sheriff, I can say every participant looked very underage and I was surprised any clerk would sell to them. Most clerks turned them away and an honorable mention goes to Mapco in Kingston Springs. The clerk told the student they should know better and did not need to be in the store trying to purchase alcohol.”
Clerks who sold were cited from the following stores: Ashland Market at 303 N. Main; Food Lion on Frey Street; Lakeview Market on River Road; Teeter’s Market, on River Road; Twice Daily Market, Exit 31 (Formerly Bubba’s One Stop); Meme & Pauls Wildlife Market, Petway Road (Formerly Grumpy’s); Pegram Shell, Hwy. 70 Pegram at Kingston Road; Dollar General, Kingston Springs; and Dude’s Wine and Spirits in Kingston Springs.
Businesses that were cited during this operation will have to appear in General Sessions Court and before the county beer board; the cited liquor store, Dude’s Wine and Spirits, will have to appear before the Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
In a message addressed to local businesses, Breedlove urges, “Above merchants and employees, you’re better than this because you are the important part of our community that binds us. Be vigilant, train your employees, and keep alcohol away from our kids.”
Sheriff’s Note: After consulting with all deputies and participants, some clerks thought their ID check machine was malfunctioning and did not visibly check the licenses. Others looked at the purchaser’s licenses and failed to do the math. A few businesses had signs posted stating that they check identification of all purchasers but never took the time to actually check.