Selling booze to minors costs business owner $15 million - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Selling booze to minors costs business owner $15 million

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The teens were sold liquor at this BP gas station, owned by The Nineteenth Street Investments, Inc. Source: WBRC video The teens were sold liquor at this BP gas station, owned by The Nineteenth Street Investments, Inc. Source: WBRC video
The teens were later in a wreck that killed one and injured three others. Source: WBRC video The teens were later in a wreck that killed one and injured three others. Source: WBRC video
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BESSEMER, AL (WBRC) -

A Jefferson County jury awarded $15 million in damages Friday to the families of four teens who were either killed or injured after a gas station sold them alcohol.

That money will have to be paid by the owner of a convenience store that sold alcohol to four minors in 2007. On the night of May 2, attorneys say the young people went to the BP gas station on Fairfax Avenue in Bessemer three times and bought bottles of Mad Dog 20 20 liquor. They were not asked to show identification either time.

Later that night, the driver, who was intoxicated, crashed into a tree, injuring herself and two passengers and killing a third, 13-year-old Drew Robertson.

Charges were brought against the owner of the convenience store, The Nineteenth Street Investments, Inc. Friday, a jury awarded the families of the young people more than 15 million dollars in damages.

But more than money, the plaintiffs and their attorneys hope the verdict sends a message to those working at convenience stores.

"I hope other gas stations will realize yes, we do profit off selling alcohol but if we sell it to minors we're going to pay for it," says Ashley Peinhardt, an attorney for one of the plaintiffs.

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