Board suspends alcohol licenses for local convenience stores

The Lake Charles Alcohol Review Board has suspended the alcohol licenses for seven local convenience stores that have been accused of selling synthetic urine.

The action was taken Thursday during a meeting. The store owners were given a chance to state their case and many admitted to selling the synthetic urine but said they did not know it was illegal.

The board said the suspensions are for 30 days but future violations will result in permanent loss of the licenses.

Attorney Cliff Newman spoke during the meeting and said this is not a black-and-white issue. He said the law on synthetic urine has been around since 2010 but also mentioned other products, like bleach, that can alter a drug test.

Newman claimed the suspensions will be an economic hit to the stores.

The stores are: More Four Less No. 2 at 1310 N. Martin Luther King Highway, Food Post at 425 N. Martin Luther King Highway, Tobacco Place at 2027 N. Martin Luther King Highway, Super Food Mart at 1519 N. Martin Luther King Highway, Smoker's Paradise and Spirits No. 1 at 1014 N. Martin Luther King Highway, Smokers Express at 3501 Gerstner Memorial Drive and Raceway No. 6946 at 1213 N. Martin Luther King Highway.

Two smoke shops and nine convenience stores were raided in late May in what authorities said was a crackdown on the selling of products to help illegal drug users beat drug tests.

Authorities arrested five people in connection with the smoke shops -- Up in Smoke in Moss Bluff and Blaze Smoke Shop in Lake Charles.

Clerks at the convenience stores were issued misdemeanor summons for unlawful sales or supplying a product for the purpose of falsifying a drug screening.

KPLC's Erica Bivens will have more on later editions.

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