Metro police go undercover to stop underage drinking

Metro police go undercover to stop underage drinking (Image 1)

Metro police cited six downtown businesses for selling alcohol to minors during an undercover operation on Friday.

The Youth Services division partnered with Nashville Prevent Partnership, Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission and the Beer Board to check nearly 30 locations.

“We had received complaints form different sources about businesses downtown selling to young people,” Captain Gordon Howey of the Youth Services Division said.

The operation used 18 to 20-year-old men and women to go undercover and attempt to buy alcohol.

According to police, out of 27 attempts, six places had employees who sold alcohol to the minors.

Whiskey Bent Saloon, Piranha's Bar & Grill, The Palm, Robert's Western World and Alley dog were among those cited.

“They were issued a citation to come to the beer permit board,” Captain Howey said. “Generally they would get a fine but they can lose their license.”

He continued, “The server or bartender can lose their certificate to sell alcohol.”

So far this year, the police have made 68 attempts during three different operations. They have cited 19 people.

In 2012, there were 132 attempts and 26 people were cited.

The operation targets any place that sells alcohol in Davidson County.

Doctors said the use of alcohol by teens can cause long lasting damage to the minds of the minors.

“Teenagers who binge drink have problems with memories, have problems with thinking and problems processing mathematical problems and later on in the future,” Dr. Joseph Gigante with Vanderbilt University Medical Center said. “It can be an issue where they may have gotten drunk the night before but it has lasting effect on the brain as they go into adulthood.”

Dr. Gigante said teens who drink are also more likely to have suicidal thoughts, unprotected sex and be involved in a traffic wreck.

“We always hear these horror stories and tragedies of kids who went to a party, got drunk and then got behind the wheel of a car,” Dr. Gigante said. “Then they get into an accident and either kills them self or hurts others.”

Dr. Gigante said parents should talk to their children about alcohol and make their stance on the issue clear.

Police remind people it is illegal to provide alcohol to minors, which includes parents who provide alcohol to their children.

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