NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control says a Carrollton business was cited Thursday for selling alcohol to a minor, even after she presented her identification card. A manager at the restaurant would only say that she could not verify anything.
On the eve of the first big Carnival weekend, the state is looking out for minors in hopes of keeping liquor and tobacco out of their hands.
At Claiborne and Carrollton avenues, ATC sent a 17-year-old into the Walgreens store to try to buy cigarettes. But the store clerk asked to see her identification card and refused to allow the purchase. It was the same result at Robert's, which followed the law and did not sell cigarettes to the minor.
But at a restaurant on Carrollton Avenue near the River Bend area, the teen successfully purchased beer even after showing her identification card, according to ATC Agent Melissa Peri.
"This is the alcoholic beverage that a 17-year-old was able to purchase from one of our restaurants here in New Orleans," Peri said, holding a plastic cup containing beer.
She said the restaurant where the purchase was made was O'Henry's.
"At O'Henry's tonight, we sent in a 17-year-old operative who attempted to buy alcohol from the business. The kid went in and approached the bar, ordered a beer. The server asked for the kid's ID and was unable to properly identify that the child was not of age to purchase alcohol products," Peri said.
At Little Tokyo a few blocks away, workers refused the girl's request.
"We want to ensure that businesses are selling and serving alcohol and tobacco products responsibly," Peri said.
Then Peri backtracked to O'Henry's with citation book in hand.
"I went into the business and issued the business an administrative citation against their state alcohol permit with ATC. Also, the server was issued a citation - a criminal summons for sale of alcohol to a minor," she said.
She said O'Henry's has received two administrative citations, one for selling alcohol to a minor and a second for having an employee who was not certified as a responsible vendor.
"Louisiana has a responsible vendor program where we require all servers, all bartenders, all cashiers to be responsible vendor certified, and this program educates them on our alcohol and tobacco laws," Peri said.