Delaware steps up alcohol enforcement for prom and graduation season

    Delaware regulators and the liquor and beverage industry are teaming up in an awareness campaign to keep the annual “rites of spring” for young people alcohol-free.

    Liquor stores and restaurants will prominently display the “Buyers Beware” message, which brings home the message that it’s illegal and dangerous to provide alcohol to someone who is under 21 years old.

    Businesses such as Brandywine Liquors on Naamans Road north of Wilmington are part of the movement to thwart the myriad of ways young people try to obtain alcohol, either themselves or through an adult.

    “Our employees are always vigilant,” said store owner Paul Gupta, who is President of the Delaware Asian American Business Association.  “We have cameras in the parking lot so in case we see any illegal activity we go out there and we stop it.”

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    Delaware Director of Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement John Yeomans said underage people will often enlist an adult friend or sibling to make a purchase of alcohol for a teenager. 

    “It’s always a challenge not only for law enforcement but for communities, schools and parents in order to minimize the likelihood of an underage youth obtaining alcohol or engaging in activities that would put them at risk,” Yeomans said. 

    Buying alcohol and providing it to a young person, or attempting to purchase alcohol while underage is treated seriously in Delaware.

    “You do those things, you get a criminal record,” Yeomans said.  Potential penalties include fines or community service.

    In addition to liquor stores and wholesalers, the “Buyers Beware” message will also be clearly posted in bars and restaurants as well as on billboards scattered throughout the state. 

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