After three local businesses were busted for selling alcohol to a minor, the Madison Mayor and City Council voted unanimously for each business to be fined $500 and refrain from selling alcohol for seven days.

Walmart, Eatonton Road Food Mart, and Citgo on Eatonton Road, were all busted for selling alcohol to a minor after the Department of Revenue conducted a surprise test at each business.

“The Department of Revenue came down and did their sting…to check for underage sales,” said Ashley Hawk, city clerk for Madison. “They are all first-time offenders,” said Hawk.

A 16-year-old working with the Department of Revenue was sent into each business and successfully purchased alcohol back in October. Cashiers failed to properly I.D. the underage customer attempting to buy alcohol.

“On Oct. 14, 2021, the Department of Revenue came down…They try to come down at least once a year to check for underage sales. They have an underaged person working with the Department of Revenue and they go into all of our stores that we have licensed and attempt to purchase alcohol.”

After the Department of Revenue conducted their check on all stores in Madison licensed to sell alcohol, three failed the test: Walmart, Eatonton Road Food Mart and Citgo. Hawk noted that these kinds of surprise tests by the Department of Revenue, typically conducted once a year, halted during the coronavirus pandemic.

“There was about a two-year lapse during the height of COVID. This is the first time they came down in two years to do this,” said Hawk. “We have three violations. We would like it to be zero.”

At Monday night’s Mayor and City Council meeting, the council opted to enact the penalty prescribed for first-time offenders. The City will send out letters notifying each business of the $500 fine and order a seven-day alcohol sales suspension. Each business will have 10 days to appeal the decision.

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