Use of ID to Purchase Liquor Results in Criminal Investigation

Haverhill License Commission Clerk Laura D. Angus.

Atorney Joseph C. Edwards, chairman, Haverhill License Commission.

Atorney Joseph C. Edwards, chairman, Haverhill License Commission.

Use of another person’s identification card to purchase alcohol for a minor could result in criminal charges, Haverhill Police told the Haverhill License Commission last Thursday.

The matter came to light when police conducted a compliance check Sept. 16 at 7-Eleven, 503 River St. That night, according to Detective Lt. Robert P. Pistone, police sent an undercover 18-year-old woman to several liquor establishments to purchase beer. Besides 7-Eleven, police determined Hilldale Convenience, 66 Hilldale Ave., allowed sales to a minor.

In his defense, however, Hujam Moussa of 7-Eleven told commissioners he invested $4,000 into a system to prevent such illegal sales. The system requires a valid Massachusetts driver’s license or identification card to be scanned before a sale can take place. Moussa found his employee circumvented the system by using the identification card of a 29-year-old resident. Moussa said he immediately fired the employee.

License Commission Chairman Joseph C. Edwards said laws hold only business owners answerable even though some employees are actually responsible for violations. He said he would like to see legislation address the problem.

Because the resident’s card was likely misplaced and used without permission, Pistone said, this is one instance where the employee could be criminally charged. Police will investigate and report back to the Commission.

Meanwhile, commissioners placed Hilldale Convenience, which has had no prior violations under the current owner, on probation for six months.