Busted! Caught Selling Booze to Minors

By: Kara Tsuboi
By: Kara Tsuboi

In Reno Police's most recent undercover operation, their underage volunteers tried to buy alcohol at 96 stores across Reno on Monday. They were successful at more than a quarter of them.

One of the 25 stores busted was this one: Arch Liquor on South Virginia Street. Vicki Rice was the clerk who sold to the minor Monday morning.

"We never intentionally sell to minors. We're very good at IDing, checking IDs. But then, they have to consider the human factor, the hours we're working, things like that I think should be considered," says vicki.

She says she carded the minor, but most likely didn't pay enough attention to the birthday. A mistake that's going to cost her 465 dollars.

Sergeant Dave Evans who conducted the operation says tough luck; the law's the law: "There's no way around it, it's cut and dried."

He says state grant money allows the Regional Street Enforcement Team to conduct their undercover operations every few months. Sometimes they target repeat offenders, but most times -- like this one --it's random.

"There's no rhyme or reason. We just sort of move outward, North and South."

And it's not always mom-and-pop stores getting caught. This time around, several national chain stores -- like Safeway, 7-11 and AM-PM were also busted.

As for Vicki, she's upset. It's her second violation in the last few years...but now, she plans to seek legal help before her March court date .

"This thing comes down so quickly when it does happen. It takes you by shock, it's very frightening. And I just want to know if I have any rights."

After 3 busts in 3 months at any one liquor store, the owners face a review of its liquor license.


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