AUGUSTA, GA. (WFXG) - The Alcohol Enforcement Team (AET) sent a teenager into more than a dozen restaurants, where that teen was actually served alcohol. In many of those cases, the AET tells me, the teen’s ID was never checked.
The AET’s coordinator said 20 total tickets were written at those 10 non-compliant bars. One ticket was written to the person who sold the alcohol and the second is written against the establishment’s license.
Local chef Megan Dusch has seen people younger than 21 try to get their hands on alcohol.
“That’s never ended. They’re always going to try. Especially younger college students who aren’t quite 21 yet, they want to go out and have a good time,” she said.
Dusch believes cracking down on this trend has a lot to do with enforcing the laws that are on the books.
She said management should take the time to properly train staff to check ids.
“But if they don’t enforce it properly it will affect your bottom line because you’ll lose your liquor license. And it also has to do with the safety of the kids,” explained Dusch.
The 2nd District Alcohol Enforcement Team, which covers Aiken, Barnwell and Bamberg Counties, works to prevent underage drinking through education and enforcement.
Just last week on February 7th they discovered 10 out of 15 bars in Aiken sold alcohol to a 17-year-old in an underage alcohol enforcement operation.
“The person who sold is given a court date at a local magistrate. They’re required to enroll in what’s called PREP,” said Alcohol Enforcement Team Coordinator Steve Ryan.
Palmetto Retailers Education Program, or PREP, is A 3-hour class that explains the law and trains people how to refuse a sale.
Someone charged with selling alcohol to anyone under the age of 21 could be fined at least $680 and/or 30 days in jail. The Department of Revenue notifies that employee’s business of the next step for the establishment, which could result in fines, license suspension or license revocation.