VERIFY: ABC stickers say ONLY minors can buy alcohol, tobacco in Virginia

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) -- We've all seen the stickers by the cash register; the ones that warn customers that they need to be 21-years-old in order to purchase any alcohol, and 18-years-old to buy cigarettes. 

However, a picture sent to us by a 13News Now viewer shows a typo made by the state department of Alcoholic Beverage Control that would make it seem that anyone over the age of 21 would have a hard time getting any beer or wine. 

The picture was taken at a Food Lion grocery store in Virginia Beach. 

The "do not sell" stickers read:

"Anyone born on or before TODAY'S DATE in 1996 MAY NOT buy or consume ALCOHOL!"

 

"Anyone born on or before TODAY'S DATE in 1999 MAY NOT BUY tobacco or alternative nicotine products." 

At first glance, the stickers appear like any other warning sign, except the typo where the term "before" was used instead of "after." 

This mistake implies that any customer over the age of 21, or 18, may not purchase alcohol or tobacco. 

13News Now contacted the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) to verify whether or not these stickers were real.

According to Public Relations Specialist Valerie D. Hubbard, they are. 

The incorrect stickers were sent out to more than 15,000 stores in November 2016. Upon realizing the error, new stickers were sent out to all licensees a month later. 

The corrected stickers cost the board more than $4,000, but the Virginia Beer Wholesalers Association distributed them to all licensees at no cost. 

Even though the new stickers were sent out, Hubbard says they cannot force all restaurants and stores to replace the old ones. 

"Unfortunately, for one reason or another - not all licensees did as instructed," said Hubbard in an email sent to 13News Now. "We continue to learn of stores or restaurants which serve or sell alcohol displaying the "Do Not Sell" stickers with incorrect information. Whenever we do discover these incorrect stickers in use, we contact the licensee and send another set of stickers to them asking them, once again, to please use the corrected versions."

13News Now contacted the Food Lion where the original image was taken. Store Manager Glenn Weaver has confirmed that the incorrect sticker is still hanging at the grocery store, but he will be contacting ABC in order to fix the issue. 

If you have something you would like one of our journalist to verify, email us at Verify@13NewsNow.com.

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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