Authorities have cited 15 store clerks in Durham and Wake counties for underage tobacco sales. The state Department of Crime Control and Public Safety says 10 Alcohol Law Enforcement agents last month checked 100 retail establishments in the two counties.
Selling tobacco to an underage person is a Class Two misdemeanor, and a District Court judge may fine the violator up to a thousand dollars or order as much as 30 days community service.
A store clerk can determine if a customer is of legal age by the color codes on a person's driver's license. A red border means the bearer is less than 18 years old. "If you see red, the tobacco sale is dead," is the slogan for a statewide Retailer Education Campaign that started in 2005 to remind retail employees to refuse the sale of tobacco products to underage persons.