Selling alcohol to underage customers

On Behalf of | Mar 7, 2022 | criminal defense |

If you run a liquor store, it is important that you pay attention to every customer’s age when you make a sale. Selling alcohol to an underage person can not only affect your liquor license, but it can also land you with hefty fines and jail time.

Refusing business with anyone under 21 may seem simple enough, but there are some details you should understand.

How the law works

Under no condition does the law permit you to sell alcohol to anyone under 18 years old in South Dakota. When it comes to young adults who are under 21 years of age, you may sell alcohol as long as there is a spouse, parent or guardian present who is 21 or older. On the other hand, you have the right to refuse to sell to anyone under 21 if you do not want to.

How these sales can happen

There are several ways that a customer may get you to make an illegal sale. For one, a teenager might admit to being underage but try to talk you into making an exception just this one time. Fake IDs are also common, which is why it is important to examine the card’s quality, the text and the photo before agreeing to anything.

Selling alcohol to an underage customer may not seem like a big deal at times, but you never know what small instance might turn into a criminal conviction. With the right attentiveness, you can keep yourself and your team members out of trouble.