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Six businesses cited for selling beer to minors

Posted: March 20, 2014 4:52 p.m.
Updated: March 21, 2014 5:00 a.m.

The Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) cited six businesses for selling beer to minors following an undercover operation Wednesday night. The operation included having underage individuals, under the KCSO’s direction, attempt to purchase alcoholic beverages from 24 businesses in the county licensed to sell alcohol. In each of the 24 attempts, the underage person presented legitimate identification clearly showing them to be under the age of 21.

According to a KCSO press release, the KCSO issued citations to the BP service station in Elgin, Food Lion in Lugoff, Youngs in Lugoff, Walmart in Camden, Plums in Lugoff and the Somewhere convenience store in Lugoff. Clerks in each of the stores allegedly sold beer to the underage purchaser.

Some of the cited stores actually had ID verification equipment, but either did not use them or used them improperly. In one case, the clerk did not ask the purchaser for ID.

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, $1,000 for the second offense and $1,500 for the third offense with suspension of the beer and wine license for up to 45 days. The administrative violations are handled by the S.C. Department of Revenue (DOR). The KCSO said the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division will be following up on each of these violations with an administrative citation for the DOR.

“It is no secret that the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office is attempting to limit the availability of alcohol to our young people,” Sheriff Jim Matthews said in the press release. “The purpose of these undercover operations is solely to keep stores from selling alcohol to our teenagers. That we continue to make cases against stores that sell alcohol is very troubling. As I have said before, these businesses need to do a better job of educating their employees on the proper way to check identification. There is a program designed by the S.C. 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.”

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