EAST MONTGOMERY COUNTY — As part of Pct. 4 Constable Kenneth “Rowdy” Hayden’s ongoing efforts to keep not only illegal drugs, but also alcohol out of the hands of minors, a sting operation was conducted over the weekend with the assistance of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
Minors were used in the sting. The operatives were ages 16 and 17-years-old, with no facial hair and a youthful appearance. They possessed identification displaying their actual age and were instructed to show the store clerks or bar tenders upon request. In one case, ID was requested, but the transaction occurred anyway.
In all, four people were arrested and charged with Sale to a Minor (alcoholic beverage), Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code 106.03.
Kaitlyn M. Dowd, 22, of Spring a bartender at a drinking establishment on First Street in Splendora, was arrested around 10:30 p.m. on Friday at that location after selling beer to a 16-year-old white male without requesting his identification.
Christina Ruth Dowdy, 34, of New Caney, a store clerk at a convenience store on Loop 494 in Porter, was arrested around 9:45 p.m. on Friday after selling beer to a youthful looking 17-year-old without requesting identification.
Eva Corzine Holley, 53, of Porter, who tends bar at an establishment on Oakley Road in Porter, was arrested around 7 p.m. on Friday after selling beer to a 17-year-old without requesting identification.
Rebecca Lynn Lunsford, 34, of Porter, who is a store clerk at a gas station on US 59 in Splendora, was arrested around 10:30 p.m. on Friday after selling beer to a 16-year-old. Oddly enough, Lunsford asked the teen for identification and he displayed an ID with his actual date of birth, but she sold him the beer anyway.
“A lot of our efforts are focused on the major drug problem in East County, but illegal drugs are not the only thing we have to worry about,” Constable Hayden said. “In some ways, underage drinking is harder to combat because so many adults don’t recognize the danger it presents.”
“In this sting operation, we targeted the sale of alcohol to minors, but there’s also a huge problem with parents who allow their children and their children’s friends to drink alcohol in their homes or on their property,” he said. “That’s dangerous for a lot of reasons – there’s drinking and driving, of course, alcohol poisoning, mixing drugs and alcohol, and other behaviors that can have deadly consequences.”
“Parents and all other adults need to know that it’s not okay to allow minors to drink alcohol and we’ll do whatever we can to stop it,” Constable Hayden said. “I’d rather see adults under arrest for providing alcohol to kids than to see adults standing on the side of the road staring at where their kids died.”