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S.C. Judge Rules Underage Alcohol Law Illegal

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A South Carolina county court ruled that the state’s law barring those under 21 from possessing or drinking alcohol is unconstitutional, WIS reported July 14.

Judge Mel Maurer of Richland County ruled in favor of a 20-year-old who was ticketed for possessing alcohol. Joe McCulloch, the youth’s attorney, made a case that under Article 17, Section 14 of South Carolina’s constitution 18-year olds are granted the “full legal rights and responsibilities” that other adults have. The law says that the state may restrict the sale of alcoholic beverages, however, said McCulloch.

The officer who issued the ticket to the 20-year-old cited a repealed statute instead of the current statute that prohibits those under 21 from consuming or possessing alcohol, according to the office of the Fifth Circuit Solicitor and the department of Richland County’s Sheriff.

A spokesperson said the solicitor plans to appeal Richland County’s decision.

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