Sheriff's program targets alcohol sales to minors - WFLA News Channel 8

Sheriff's program targets alcohol sales to minors

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Hillsborough County Sheriff's Deputies are kicking off the holiday season looking for businesses selling alcohol to minors. Hillsborough County Sheriff's Deputies are kicking off the holiday season looking for businesses selling alcohol to minors.

Hillsborough County Sheriff's Deputies are kicking off the holiday season looking for businesses selling alcohol to minors.

It's part of the SUCCEED program, which stands for Sheriff's Underage Compliance Check Education and Enforcement Detail.

Thursday night, authorities sent minors, who they call"investigative aides", into 17 stores in eastern Hillsborough County. The minors were able to buy alcohol at three stores.

Deputies arrested 19-year old Michael Strasser, a clerk at the 7-11 located at 1902 U.S. 301, and 26-year old Charles Diggs, a clerk at the Gas Quick located at 9201 Adamo Drive in Tampa. The third clerk's name wasn't immediately available.

Sgt. Troy Morgan says the goal of the program is not necessarily to make arrests.

"This is not just about putting someone in jail for the actual crime," said Morgan.

"Does that happen? Yes. They are charged with that and that does happen. But, we want to go back to them and provide them with an opportunity to make it right. We want to go back multiple times and be denied because they're checking i.d.'s.," he added.

Sgt. Morgan says since the SUCCEED program has been in place, alcohol compliance checks have gone from a few hundred stores to more than 1,300 this year. He says right now the compliance rate is about 85-percent. Morgan says the sheriff's office is shooting for 100-percent.

"At the end of the day, if we can make an overall improvement on the lack of DUI fatalities, injuries, it's a success," said Morgan.

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