LC City Council cracking down on alcohol sales to minors

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - There's not a week that goes by undercover stings by the Calcasieu Sheriff's Office and Lake Charles Police don't find someone selling alcohol to minors. The Lake Charles City Council wants to get tough on those found not in compliance.

'This is breaking the law, but in addition it is contributing to the delinquency of a minor. And if we are going to be serious about this it's time to up those fines and stop just giving these people a slap on the wrist," said Luvertha August, Lake Charles City Council.

According to August says it's a big problem in her district, but authorities will tell you it's city-wide. Council President John Ieyoub agrees changes need to be made and said it's already on the agenda.

"Now that you've brought it up again we can actually discuss what the fines should be," said Ieyoub.

After talking with city attorneys and the Alcohol Review Board Ieyoub offers the following.

"After that conversation I suggest we raise the first offense to $300, 2nd offense to $700, 3rd offense continue to lose license," said Ieyoub.

"We are too lenient. We are absolutely too lenient. Plus we are in a deficit. So this is another way to make more revenue if we really go according to plan. And I think it's time for us to stick it to them and give them the business they are giving our children," said August.

August suggests raising the fines to $500 first offense, $1,000 for 2nd offense and automatic loss of liquor license for 3rd offense. While it's the cashier not in compliance that is usually fined, council members say the businesses must be held accountable too.

"They continue to sell to minors because it is a profitable enterprise. And I think the way you hit people to change is to make it where it is not profitable. Otherwise, it will happen over and over again," said Marshall Simien, Lake Charles City Council.

Also up for further discussion requiring the business to install an I.D. scanner to make an alcohol purchase after a first or second offense. All of this will be discussed at the September 21st regular meeting.