Underage Kids Help Kershaw County Police Bust Businesses Selling Alcohol to Minors
A pre-prom sting on local businesses conducted by the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office rounded up five businesses that sold alcohol to minors.
Those businesses were he IGA in Elgin, the Food Lion in Elgin, Youngs in Lugoff, Youngs in Camden and Speaks Oil #101 in Camden.
On May 20th, the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office conducted an undercover operation using two teenage girls, aged 17 and 18. The girls went to 38 local businesses and attempted to purchase alcohol. They had their parents’ permission, and were monitored at all times by plainclothes officers. While purchasing alcohol, the girls did not use a fake ID, but their actual ID, which showed them to be under the age of 21.
According to the report, some of the stores actually had ID verification equipment that was not used or was improperly used. In two of the five stores, the store clerks did not check the girls’ ID.
“It is no secret that the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office is attempting to limit the availability of alcohol to our young people. That we continue to make cases against stores that sell alcohol is a little troubling. The stores need to do a better job of educating their employees on the proper way to check identification. There is a program designed by the SC Department of Revenue to teach store employees how to properly verify the age of someone trying to purchase alcoholic beverages. It would be prudent for the stores to mandate this training for their employees,” said Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews.
The fine levied against the clerk who sold the alcohol is $672.50 and is adjudicated in magistrate’s court. The administrative fine against the store’s license is $500 for the first offense, $1000.00 for the second offense and $1500.00 for the third offense with suspension of the beer and wine license for up to 45 days. These administrative violations are handled by the SC Department of Revenue.
“Kids don’t socially drink” Matthews said. “Most of them go someplace and get hammered, and then they get in their cars. Parents don’t want that, and we don’t want to deal with teen drunk drivers.”
“We certainly do not want any of our graduates to be involved in a drunk driving accident. With that in mind we will continue to enforce compliance with these regulations.”
Consequences of Selling Alcohol to Minors and Underage Drinking in South Carolina
South Carolina has a zero tolerance policy toward underage drinking, and there are serious consequences for selling alcohol to minors. According to S.C. Code Ann. § 61-4-50:
It is unlawful for a person to sell beer to a person under twenty one years of age. A person who makes a sale in violation of this section must, upon conviction, be fined not less than one hundred dollars nor more than two hundred dollars or imprisoned not less than thirty days nor more than sixty days, or both, in the discretion of the court.
A conviction for underage drinking can have lasting consequences.
- A student who has been convicted and/or pled guilty to an alcohol or drug related offense will not be eligible for a LIFE scholarship after the expiration of one academic year from the date of the adjudication, conviction or plea.
- A driver who is over the age of 18 but under 21 charged with DUI may additionally be charged with child endangerment and subject to additional criminal penalties if they are carrying a passenger younger than 16.
- A conviction for underage drinking and driving may ruin potential career opportunities.
The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Charges For Selling Alcohol to Minors and Underage Drinking Charges
South Carolina’s strict zero tolerance policy and the future implications of an underage drinking or selling alcohol to minors conviction make it critical that you contact a South Carolina underage drinking lawyer to protect your rights. The Criminal Defense attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, LLC provide a free consultation to discuss the facts of your case. Call us today to see how we can help. 803.252.4800