We have repeatedly pointed out the problem ABC Enforcement and law enforcement agencies in Arkansas have using under age individuals in entrapment/compliance operation.
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.
There is however such an exception in the laws concerning tobacco products that sanctions Arkansas Tobacco Control and other agencies and permits underage individuals to assist in compliance operations.
If using underage individuals was legal in these types of law enforcement operations, there would be no need to have an exception in the law for Tobacco Control.
Why has the ABC never sought to legalize the use of underage individuals in alcohol compliance operations? They have no comment.
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.
The file the ABC sent us in response to a Freedom of Information request reveals that ABC Enforcement and the Conway Police Department used underage adults, not minors, in alcohol compliance/entrapment operations in violation of A.C.A. § 3-3-203 and cited sellers with violating A.C.A. § 3-3-201 a statute that only covers sales to minors.
In plain, common language that is bullshit.
In a letter ABC Administrative Director Bud Roberts sent to the draft, he erroneously calls 18 year old adults minors.
The documents the ABC sent clearly indicate that all four of these illegal compliance operation did not involve minor, the individuals that broke the law assisting the ABC and Conway Police Department were 18,19 and 20 year old adults.
One of the violations involved a gang of underage adult drunk girls that used drivers licenses of friends and relatives to get in "private clubs" in Conway. A parent complained to the ABC.
The Conway Police Department failed to charge the adult girls or the ladies that loaned out their drivers license with violating A.C.A. §27-16-302, the unlawful use of license.
But why should we expect the ABC or Conway Police Department to follow the law. After all, ABC Enforcement is headed by one big lawbreaker and pretend policeman, tainted ABC Enforcement Director Boyce Hamlet.