State agents, conducting an undercover operation Wednesday night, cited multiple bars and a carry-out in Akron for selling alcohol to minors. A majority of the establishments caught had been cited before.
"I'm saddened by the amount of activity we've had so far tonight," said George Pitre, agent-in-charge of the Canton district office of the Ohio Investigative Unit.
An 18-year-old informant, working for the state, bought alcohol at Manny's Pub on Brown Street in Akron as well as at Shots in the Valley. She also purchased alcohol at Lorenzo's Drive-Thru on East Exchange. All three had received citations for selling alcohol to minors before, according to the unit. Lorenzo's was just cited the week before.
"The consequences sometimes aren't thought about," said Pitre.
The informant also bought alcohol at The Score Draft Room on East Exchange and Brubaker's Pub on South Main.
In each case, the bartender or seller was criminally charged. If convicted, he or she faces up to six months in jail and up to a $1,000 fine.
The establishment faces the possibility of a liquor license revocation, suspension or fine, as determined by the state's Liquor Control Commission.
"The worst case scenario is somebody dies, somebody gets in a bad crash, somebody gets over-served," he added.
Four years ago, a Revere High School senior crashed her car in Bath Township and was thrown through her sunroof after an Akron bar served her underage. She suffered serious injuries.
"You think about our kids," said Pitre. "We want them to be safe."
The Ohio Investigative Unit offers a free program for any liquor permit holder in the state as well as his/her employees that addresses the laws of selling alcohol. It also covers the penalties. Contact the unit for more information.