Photo: Bob and Jan’s Bottle Shop, Cambria
SAN LUIS OBISPO – Businesses are prohibited from selling cigarettes to anyone under 21 years of age. The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office recently completed a countywide tobacco sales compliance check.” This sting began in October of 2018 and ended on April 9, 2019.
Underage decoys are enlisted in the operation in their attempt to buy cigarettes from various stores.
A total of 9 businesses failed the test of compliance, from a total of 58 locations tested. This is a 15.5% illegal sales rate. The previous sting operation resulted in a 14% illegal sales rate. These types of operations have been conducted since 2012.
Over the years, the highest rate was 25.93% and the lowest rate was 5.17%.
The three first-time offenders were –
- Dollar General, 972 “K” St, San Miguel;
- Oak Hill Market, 2150 Heritage Loop Dr, Paso Robles;
- Creston Market, 6330 Webster Rd, Creston.
The three second-time violators were –
- Ragged Point Inn, 19019 Hwy 1, San Simeon;
- Von’s Gas, 550 W Tefft St, Nipomo;
- Kachi Smoke Shop, 538 W Tefft St, Nipomo.
The two stores nabbed for a third violation are –
- San Miguel Market, 1299 Mission St, #2, San Miguel;
- Central Market, 2061 Cienega St, Oceano.
And finally, the store where a fifth violation occurred was Bob & Jan’s Bottle Shop, 2292 Main St, Cambria.
The SLOPD notes, “Retail clerks with tobacco sales violations are issued a notice to appear and criminally prosecuted through Superior Court. By county ordinance, any business responsible for the violation is subject to administrative penalties including suspension of their ability to retail tobacco and a $1000 fine for each offense. First and second offender businesses may elect to participate in a diversion program aimed at reducing licensing suspensions in exchange for onsite employee education and point-of-sale upgrades that use electronic technology to prevent future sales.”