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Only 1 arrest in Columbia County underage alcohol sting

Friday, Feb. 26, 2010 12:34 PM
Last updated Friday, May 28, 2010 11:13 PM
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An Appling convenience store clerk has been charged with selling alcohol to someone without asking for identification during a recent undercover operation by the Columbia County Sheriff's Office.
The sheriff's office sent an underage, undercover person into nine alcohol-selling establishments on Tuesday, said sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris.
"Eight of the nine were in compliance," Morris said, adding that compliance means the clerk asked for identification and denied to sell the alcohol to the underage shopper.
Connie Akins, clerk at Circle K at 1825 Appling-Harlem Highway, sold a six pack of beer to the undercover person without asking for identification, Morris said. She was charged with a county ordinance violation for selling alcohol to someone without proper identification.
Typically, Columbia County Code Enforcement will follow up by citing the business owner as well. Both are usually fined $1,000 in county Magistrate Court, Morris said.
Morris said the sheriff's conducts these random operations several times a year.
Morris said businesses receiving three violations within three years are usually taken before the Columbia County Commission for potential alcohol license revocation.

Reach Valerie Rowell at (706) 868-1222, ext. 110 or
valerie.rowell@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (19) Add comment
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crackerjack
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crackerjack 02/26/10 - 02:33 pm
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Good Job CCSO!

Good Job CCSO!

Riverman1
79669
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Riverman1 02/26/10 - 02:40 pm
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Why do I think of an older

Why do I think of an older looking 20 year old undercover deputy picking a spot where the clerk is busy to buy the beer? Maybe he even comes in the store in uniform at times and is known to the clerk to be a deputy? I think the age should be lowered to 18 in any case. If you are a citizen at 18 you should have all legal rights. If not, let's start limiting those over 70 from buying alcohol. Same thing.

themaninthemirror
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themaninthemirror 02/26/10 - 02:51 pm
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Right on Riverman1.

Right on Riverman1.

worldhistory
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worldhistory 02/26/10 - 02:52 pm
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So Riverman, you saying the

So Riverman, you saying the deputy frequents all 9 stores in uniform before they pull the sting. Bottom line is the law is the law but I will agree with you on the drinking age of 18.

Riverman1
79669
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Riverman1 02/26/10 - 03:10 pm
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WorldHistory, I have to admit

WorldHistory, I have to admit that is a good point, but the whole matter is just too much. I'm sure the clerk wasn't selling to anyone who looked like he was 15 or something. It was some older looking, responsible looking 20 year old I'll bet. Since a good portion of us feel 18 year old citizens who can vote, serve on juries, enter into contracts and serve in the military should be able to buy beer, what the heck?

Riverman1
79669
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Riverman1 02/26/10 - 03:17 pm
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Know what is "wrong" about

Know what is "wrong" about all this. The woman clerk arrested is going to have to pay $1000. Circle K won't help her. Poor lady.

brittalli
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brittalli 02/26/10 - 04:50 pm
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well she should have done her

well she should have done her job, if her job is to ID every customer than she should. we all make mistakes, but she should have known better.

inkpup
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inkpup 02/26/10 - 05:19 pm
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Entrapment. You can bet he

Entrapment. You can bet he comes into that store, probably even drinks free coffee when he's pulling a night shift. I'm glad CCSO doesn't have lots of these incidences to trumpet, seems like there's lots better things to focus their efforts on. Sorry Clay, but that's the way I feel.

crackerjack
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crackerjack 02/26/10 - 05:20 pm
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You can VOTE, DIE for your

You can VOTE, DIE for your country, but can't buy a beer.

Totally Ridiculous!!!!

scgirl78
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scgirl78 02/26/10 - 05:55 pm
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More than likely, it was not

More than likely, it was not anyone "undercover". SLED usually operates these things and actually finds outsiders to do this for them.

devgru1
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devgru1 02/26/10 - 06:03 pm
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The law is the law no matter

The law is the law no matter how busy a clerk is. Also, stopping underage drinkers from drinking reduces the number of drunks on the road. You know they will be on the road most of the time riding around. A department having nothing better to do than stopping underage alcohol sales means making the streets a lot safer for my family. A department taking the time to deal with the "little" things keeps the "big" things from popping up. Keep up the good work Sheriff. I also have no problem with the drinking age being lowered to 18 and I think it is a great ordinance that requires a retailer to request proper identification from anyone no matter how old.

devgru1
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devgru1 02/26/10 - 06:05 pm
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The way to change the

The way to change the drinking age is to contact your legislator.

TheDeerhunter
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TheDeerhunter 02/26/10 - 06:34 pm
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WHAT A COMPLETE WASTE OF

WHAT A COMPLETE WASTE OF TAXPAYER MONEY! Beer is Beer.

corgimom
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corgimom 02/26/10 - 06:45 pm
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She knew the rules. She chose

She knew the rules. She chose to break the law. She should pay $1000 just for being so foolish. Why should Circle K pay any of the fine? They make it extremely clear to the clerks that if they don't ID and they get caught, they are on their own. Aren't you expected to do your job and obey all policies and follow the law? Poor lady, nothing. You can't entrap someone into committing a crime, they do it to themselves. And if she had sold it to a teenager, who would get drunk and hit your car, would you feel the same way? No, you wouldn't. She should be glad it's just $1000, if a teenager had gone out and killed someone, it would be a lot worse.

disssman
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disssman 02/26/10 - 08:30 pm
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Hold on riverman. I thought

Hold on riverman. I thought you had to be 21 to be a deputy. Now did they hire someone under 21 to pose or was the person over 21 and they didn't ask for ID? Notice the charge isn't for selling to a minor.

Riverman1
79669
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Riverman1 02/26/10 - 09:51 pm
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Dissman, this may not have

Dissman, this may not have been a deputy, but that's who they used to have do these checks. The article did say, "The sheriff's office sent an underage..."

Sure you can be a deputy at 18. It would be age discrimination if that were not the case. Remember at 18 you are a legal adult citizen who can vote, enter into contracts, fight for your country and serve on juries.

trouble706isBack
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trouble706isBack 02/27/10 - 01:05 am
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Riverman, regarding your

Riverman, regarding your point about the clerk possibly having seen the deputy in uniform....That is very possible considering that the store is only about a half mile from the CCSO. I am in this store frequently and know for a fact (from experience even though I am 47) that they ALWAYS ask for ID unless they know you.

chldcreprvdr
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chldcreprvdr 02/27/10 - 09:38 am
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I know I'm a little late

I know I'm a little late posting on this article but I just have to say to SCgirl SLED is in South Carolina...this was in Columbia County, GEORGIA!!!

disssman
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disssman 02/28/10 - 10:17 am
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Riverman I distinctly

Riverman I distinctly remember being in a neighborhood meeting when the question was put to sheriff Strength. At that time he indicated 21 was the rule here and gave a pretty danr good reason for it. What I can't figure out is was she fined because she didn't ask fo ID, or was the person under age? I would sure like to sit in on that court case if it goes to court. I just love one size fits all justice where people are prevented from using common sense.

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