COPS-IN-SHOPS STINGS PLANNED TO ENFORCE ALCOHOL SALES COMPLIANCE

COPS-IN-SHOPS STINGS PLANNED TO ENFORCE ALCOHOL SALES COMPLIANCE

The Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Department will be conducting alcohol-sale compliance checks throughout the county, in coordination with the state Public Safety Department’s Special Investigations Division.

Sheriff Juan Hernandez will use Operation DWI grant funding to pay overtime to deputies conducting the undercover Cops-in-Shops operations. Deputies will observe and enter licensed, alcohol-selling businesses in plain clothes to perform surveillance and intervention.

Hernandez said Cops-in-Shops is necessary to identify sources of illegal alcoholic sales to minors, to intoxicated patrons or to persons involved in serious DWI-related accidents. The investigations may result in arrests and criminal charges against those found to be in violation as either buyers or sellers. Businesses in violation of state liquor-vending laws will be referred to SID for further administrative and/or criminal penalties.

In a statement released from SID in December, a 19-year-old, displaying her valid New Mexico driver’s license, attempted to buy alcohol at 22 licensed liquor establishments in the county. The clerks or servers of 13 establishments refused the sale of alcohol to the minor upon verifying her age. The minor purchased alcohol at nine other locations, however, of which two did not check her identification or ask questions.

For more information, call Grant A. Taylor, assistant to the director of public information, at (505) 647-7290. Anyone calling from outside the Las Cruces area may call toll-free at 1-877-827-7200 and request extension 7290.