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Betting on 21, Cary’s Operation Blackjack Targets Underage Alcohol Buy Transactions

Annual campaign ensures stores and customers are playing by the rules

Post Date:12/28/2016 7:30 AM
CARY, NC – The Town of Cary Police Department is reminding shoppers and business clerks alike not to take a gamble when preparing to celebrate New Year's Eve. Paired with high school volunteers, officers tonight will shop a variety of grocery and convenience stores to ensure those in Cary are complying with alcohol sales laws, including asking for proper identification. Last year’s Operation Blackjack resulted in six citations after visiting 27 stores. 

“Contrary to what many people think, under North Carolina Law the clerk—not the business—is on the hook if observed selling or giving alcohol to a person under 21 years old. Demand customers show their ID card, and check to make sure the numbers add up. Those few seconds just may save someone’s life this weekend,” said Lt. Greg Savage, the Town of Cary’s School Resource Officer Team Commander. The Class 1 Misdemeanor carries a penalty of a mandatory $250 fine, mandatory court appearance and 25 hours of community service.

Minors who violate the laws against purchase, possession, or consumption and adults who violate the law against giving alcohol to a minor or allowing a minor to use the adult’s identification to obtain alcohol, will face charges of a Class 1 Misdemeanor, which carries a range of consequences, including probation and up to $1,000 in fines.

Operation Blackjack is just one of many community initiatives the Town regularly implements to keep Cary safe. Throughout the year the Town executes Booze It & Lose It, Operations Slow Down/No Need to Speed, School’s In/Speed’s Out, Operation RADAR, Click It or Ticket, Operation Safe Shopper and Operation Patient Payoff.

To report crimes that have already occurred or to request police response for a non-emergency matter, call the Town of Cary Police Department's non-emergency number at (919) 469-4012. For real-time crime updates, follow the Town of Cary on Twitter @TOC_Safety.

**Media Note – Officers involved in the operation will be available for interviews beginning at 2 p.m. today. 

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Primary Contacts

Lt. Greg Savage, School Resource Officer Team Commander, (919) 319-4513
Carrie Roman, Public Information Specialist, (919) 481-5091
Deanna Hawkes, Deputy Public Information Officer, (919) 380-4240

Related Links

Town of Cary Police Department
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