Police officers across America are once again launching a major operation to crackdown on illegal lemonade stands. They call it Lemon Aid Strikeforce, and if you operate your own stand, police have a message they want you to hear.
First, make sure you buy a permit for your lemonade operation and second, prepare to get busted if you do not. Cops all across the country plan to aggressively combat illegal beverage stands between now and the end of the year. It is a program they say gets results and makes money.
McDougall says when you’re caught it will stain your record. “It symbolizes a significant amount of irresponsibility and bad decision making,” he said.
Technically, any lemonade stand — even one on your front lawn — must be licensed under state law, said Eric Pippert, the food-borne illness prevention program manager for the state’s public health division
“I understand the reason behind what they’re doing and it’s a neighborhood event, and they’re trying to generate revenue,” said Jon Kawaguchi, environmental health supervisor for the Multnomah County Health Department. “But we still need to put the public’s health first.”
Last year, nearly 31,000 children in the commonwealth were convicted due to the ongoing lemon war between bureaucrats and budding pint-sized small business owners.
It’s hardly unusual to hear small-business owners gripe about licensing requirements or complain that heavy-handed regulations are driving them into the red. However, the law’s the law no matter who you are.
“Children do not see the need for purchasing a permit for their stand, nor do they care,” said Police Superintendent Col. Howard Doherty. “Because if they really cared then they certainly wouldn’t make the irresponsible decision to ignore health code and violate the law.”
State troopers will join with local police departments and sheriff’s offices to set-up sting operations and to work targeted enforcements at least once a week, nation-wide, between now and the end of the year.
They will hone in on kids between the ages of 5 and 12 because research shows that demographic are at the highest risk of any group to sell lemonade illegally. There is also a significant marketing component to this plan including radio and television commercials.
Reported by Angela Soup. Photography by Paul Newcomb.