Texting liquor-store clerk sells booze to teen, loses job

A clerk at O'Brien's Liquors on Dorchester Avenue in Ashmont didn't look up from his phone or ask for ID as a guy handed him money for four six-packs of Twisted Tea - but quickly learned the guy was just 16 after he came back inside with BPD drug-unit officers, who'd just busted him and three of his teen friends in the store parking lot.

O'Brien's owner Abu Zafar apologized profusely to the Boston Licensing Board at a hearing this morning.

"It hurt me a lot, because this is my living," he said.

Zafar said he was out of town during the incident around 5:25 p.m. on April 14. The store manager had gone into the basement to do some stocking and left the counter in charge of a part-time worker who had not had any problems before. According to Zafar, the worker was on his phone, texting, when the teen came up to the counter, paid for the six packs and left with them in two plastic bags. Zafar and police say the clerk never asked for ID.

Lt. Det. Stephen Meade said drug-unit officers outside the store on a different matter, then spotted the guy, whom they thought looked too young to be buying liquor, leave the store and go into the parking lot and hand out the hard iced tea. The officers went up and questioned them and found all of them were 16, Meade said.

Zafar said the worker was fired immediately. He said when he got back, he had a meeting with all the remaining workers at the store to remind them not to pull stuff like that.

Zafar said this is his first violation in the ten years he's owned the store.

The board decides Thursday what action, if any, to take, but board Chairwoman Christine Pulgini assured Zafar that "your record [of no previous violations] speaks for itself."



Free tagging: 



Four Six Packs of Twisted Tea

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And that alone was not a flag?

If an older person bought this, it would still be a flag for buying for minors!

Voting closed 45

I'm 34

And I drink the stuff like it's water. #23untilIdie

Why is the 16 year old buying from a store himself? Why aren't his parents sitting down with him and having a drink with him, so that he doesn't view having a drink as a novelty act? Prohibition doesn't work.

Voting closed 26

Most likely....

Most likely he's not drinking with his parents because of the flood of new signs up around Massachusetts promising swift and unrelenting punishment for any parents who condone or allow their kids to drink supervised in their homes. It's obviously much better to let them go out and do it in parks or their vehicles....

Voting closed 29

I’ve seen those signs on T

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I’ve seen those signs on T buses. They say something like, “Letting your teens drink at home is against the law.” Except it’s actually not illegal in MA. It’s legal for teens to drink in a private home with their parents present. Those signs make me irrationally annoyed.

Voting closed 21


By on

I'm 40. Love Twisted Tea. I can't do the carbonation in beer anymore and not interested in hard liquor or wine.

Voting closed 10

Nothing like a cold twisted

Nothing like a cold twisted tea on a hot day. it reminds me of the time I was tarring a roof up in Maine. One of the guys was an accountant and helped a guard with a tax problem. In exchange, me and the boys got to enjoy a cold twisted tea in the setting sun. It tasted like freedom, even if it was just for 20 minutes.

Voting closed 54

I see

...what you did there.

Voting closed 19

I find it hard to believe...

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I find it hard to believe that this was his first time just walking into the liquor store in busy Ashmont and buying liquor. This is just the time they've gotten caught.

Voting closed 16

getting a buyah

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one night when i was about 16 i asked a gentleman to buy a suitcase of Buds for me and my pals. the guy pulled out a pair of cuffs and roughly handcuffed me to the fence! it was clear that he was not really a policeman even though he claimed he was. what he didn’t know was there were 3 other thirsty 16 year olds on the other side of the fence watching everything go down. when he met all my friends he handed the key right over. larry uncuffed me and cuffed him to the same fence and that’s where we left him. late 80s

Voting closed 15


By on

it happened. 100%
(i even toned it down)

Voting closed 18

Frankly, anybody who sells liquor to a teen

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deserves to get shit-canned from their job. Serves the texting liquor store clerk right for texting while on the job, not paying attention to what was going on around him and violating the law, to boot.

Voting closed 21