Emergency Dial 911, Portsmouth Police Department, 3 Junkins Avenue, Portsmouth, NH 03801, Tel: (603) 427-1500

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Reference: Alcohol Compliance checks

Date of release: October 30th, 2006

On Thursday, October 26th, 2006, the Portsmouth Police Department and the NH Liquor Commission Bureau of Enforcement conducted a compliance check initiative in Portsmouth.

Compliance checks are an accurate way to determine if businesses and their employees are confirming that their customers are (at least) 21 years old before selling them alcohol. During a compliance check underage volunteers, under the supervision of plain clothes officers, attempt to purchase alcohol. The underage volunteers are closely monitored at all times. Additionally, the volunteers and officers undergo training prior to the operation and all participants follow strict NH Liquor Commission protocols.

During the compliance check conducted on Thursday, 34 retail businesses were checked. 9 of the 34 businesses provided alcohol to the underage volunteer.

The clerks that sold the alcohol were charged with Prohibited Sales (of alcohol), a misdemeanor offense. They were issued a summons and must appear for arraignment in the Portsmouth District Court on November 27th. The businesses were also cited by the NH Liquor Commission Bureau of Enforcement and face administrative penalties.

Businesses that sold alcohol to the underage volunteer were:

Exit 3 Travel Mart 1166 Greenland Rd.
By-Pass Exxon Route 1 By-Pass
O’Briens II Route 1-By-Pass
Seacoast Variety Woodbury Avenue
Market Basket Lafayette Rd.
Philbrick’s Fresh Mkt. Lafayette Rd.
The Meathouse Lafayette Rd.
Gibbs Lafayette Rd.
Brooks Pharmacy Southgate Plaza

Businesses that refused to sell to the underage volunteer:

Gary Beverage Deer Street
Naber Market Middle Street
Portsmouth Provisions State Street
Ceres Wine Merchants Ceres Street
Cooks & Kurds Commercial Alley
Mobil on the Run Islington Street
Cabot St. Market Cabot Street
Quik Stop Market Islington Street
Store 24 Islington Street
Rite Aide Pharmacy Islington Street
Pic-n-Pay Hannaford Islington Street
NH State Liquor Store Portsmouth Rotary
Market Basket Woodbury Avenue
Brooks Pharmacy Woodbury Avenue
BJ’s Wholesale Woodbury Avenue
Heath’s Mobil Woodbury Avenue
Shaw’s Supermarket Woodbury Avenue
Tony’s Betty Woodbury Avenue
Buzzy’s By-Pass Gas Route 1-By-Pass
By-Pass Shell Route 1-By-Pass
B.Z.’s Lafayette Road
Elwyn Park Exxon Lafayette Road
Shaw’s Supermarket Southgate Plaza
Irving Blue Canoe Lafayette Road
Bursaw’s Pantry Lafayette Road


The Portsmouth Police Department would like to thank the store employees that took a moment to identify the volunteer as underage. Checking a customer’s identification helps keep the entire community safe.

A 26% failure rate should not be acceptable to the retail community. There are a number of preventive measures that retailers that serve alcohol can take to prevent this from happening. The NH Liquor Commission provides free training to alcohol licensees. Both the Portsmouth Police department and the NH Liquor Commission will be stepping up our enforcement over the winter months.

Anyone interested in more information on this program is asked to call Det. Sgt. Michael Schwartz at 436-2511. Callers can remain anonymous about underage drinking that is occurring in the community by calling Crime Stoppers at 603-431-1199 or 207-439-1199.

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 Emergency Dial 911, Portsmouth Police Department, 3 Junkins Avenue, Portsmouth, NH 03801, Tel: (603) 427-1500