|DID AN ABC "UNDERCOVER MINOR" USE A FAKE ID IN AN ILLEGAL COMPLIANCE OPERATION?|
We have exposed the illegal use of underage individuals by ABC Enforcement Agents and other Arkansas law enforcement agencies in several posts on this blog.
As previously mentioned, Arkansas law specifically prohibits an underage individual from attempting to purchase alcoholic beverages and has no exception for an underage individual working with law enforcement agencies in entrapment/compliance operations.
Courts have long held that the primary rule of statutory construction is to give effect to the intent of the legislature. The courts construe the statue just as it reads, giving words their ordinary and usually accepted meaning in common language. When the language of a statute is plan and unambiguous. The case often cited is Snowden v. JRE Invs., Inc., 2010 Ark. 276,370 S.W.3d 215.
For us regular folks and how that applies to this post, is that the use of underage individuals in alcohol compliance operations is illegal. Period.
Secondly, the ABC and other law enforcement agencies issue citations to stores, bars and clubs that serve the underage individuals that are taking part in the illegal operations stating that the store, bar or club violated Arkansas Code Annotated § 3-3-201, Unknowingly serving alcohol to a minor.
The problem with using that particular statute is that it specifically uses the word "minor".
Arkansas has a statute that defines "minor". Arkansas Code Annotated § 9-25-101 clearly and unequivocally states that all persons of the age of eighteen years shall be considered to have reached the age of majority. So a minor is any individual under eighteen years of age.
ABC Enforcement and Arkansas law enforcement agencies frequently use underage adults (individuals 18 years and older) in their illegal alcohol compliance operations. Issuing citations citing A.C.A. § 3-3-201, a statute in which the language is plan and unambiguous, and which only states that a sale to minor is a violation. This statute cannot be used for citing sales of alcoholic beverages to persons that have reached eighteen years of age and are legal adults, albeit underage adults, yet the ABC cites it regularly when issuing tickets.
A week or so ago, we received an email from an individual that had been ticketed in one of the ABC's illegal compliance operations. This individual asserts that the ID presented by an underage operative actually listed a birth date that would have made the holder of age to purchase and consume alcoholic beverages.
We sent a FOI request to the ABC over a week ago and have yet to receive a response.
As tainted ABC Enforcement Director Boyce Hamlet is so lacking in experience and law enforcement credentials, its no wonder that his agents fail to follow the laws of the state as he leads by example and is an admitted law breaker himself.
Stay tuned for updates.