Back in my early 20s I worked for a convenience store in Brewer and we were taught the three main rules about selling alcohol. They are, it can only be sold during certain hours, the person trying to buy has to be seemingly sober (not obviously drunk) and the third, the buyer has to be of age, that means 21.

Even at 21 or older anyone buying alcohol has to provide a Government issued picture ID. Most commonly used, a Driver’s License or Maine State ID but a passport works as well. I think a military ID works too but it's been a number of years. And even after all of that, the clerk has the right to refuse the sale.

I bring this up because of a sting in Androscoggin County which found in Auburn six stores were cited for selling to minors.

The stores are, Shaw’s on Center St., J&S Oil on Center St, Mobil Mart on Center St., Hannaford on Spring St., Rite Aid on Minot Ave. and Walmart.

The police on July 31st sent a 20 year old into stores to try and buy and the six stores mentioned above sold to the minor who immediately handed the alcohol over the officer waiting in the parking lot. The stores were summoned for the selling errors as were the clerks themselves except in the case of Shaw’s where the cashier was a minor at 17 years old.

One-hundred stores throughout Andscoggin County were checked the same way, those outside of Auburn turned away the minors who worked with the sting, maybe the 20 year old guy working the Auburn beat looked older but it doesn’t matter, he wasn’t 21.

Part of me feels this is entrapment but if police weren’t baiting stores to a degree then you’d have selling to people underage more.

Do trainees who begin working with alcohol still take the T.A.M class, aka Techniques in Alcohol Management program? Either way the best advice, check IDs if working with alcohol.