LAW ENFORCEMENT USE OF MINORS IN ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE COMPLIANCE OPERATIONS IS ILLEGAL BUT IS NOT FOR TOBACCO COMPLIANCE OPERATIONS
As we have pointed out in several posts*, Arkansas law specifically prohibits persons under 21 years of age from purchasing or possessing alcoholic beverages. There are no exceptions noted in the law to allow minors or law enforcement agencies to "break" the law for enforcement purposes.
This fact was even pointed out in a Congressional Report.
It is amazing that the ABC has never sought to have the legislature modify Arkansas Code Annotated § 3-3-203 to permit minors to be used in law enforcement alcoholic beverage compliance operations like Arkansas Tobacco Control did.
It is only a matter of time before some ABC permit holder fights back and challenges the ABC's illegal use of minors in compliance operations.
Maybe there is a lawsuit in the works as we speak.
Bud Roberts needs to take the initiative and get this problem fixed or toss out all citations that result from the illegal use of minors to entrap outlets like he did in the Rack-Um case.
However the ABC has a bigger problem and that is the continued employment of tainted ABC Enforcement Director Boyce Hamlet.
Hamlet does not meet any of the qualifications to hold the position that he was appointed to by Governor Hutchinson.
The governor could have easily changed the qualifications for the position like he did so his pal Johnny Key could be the Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner (Johnny-boy was not qualified either) so that Hamlet could legitimately hold the position as Enforcement Director. But he didn't and that is a serious problem for the ABC and its enforcement activities.
And don't forget about that little problem Hamlet has with honesty and credibility. That cannot be fixed.
*Our previous posts:
CONGRESSIONAL REPORT STATES ABC COOPERATING MINORS ARE VIOLATING ARKANSAS LAW IN ABC STING OPERATIONSABC UNDERCOVER MINOR