CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- A handful of King Street bar and restaurant owners are asking the City of Charleston for help with an underage drinking crackdown.
Roy Neal, the owner of El Jefe, wants to have help paying for ID scanners that tell if a drivers license is fake or real. He says that the naked eye cannot know what’s real of fake anymore.
“The dynamics have changed. Years ago to get a fake ID you’d get one from your brother or sister or somebody that looked like you,” said Neal. “Nowadays you’re sending in a photo like you’re getting a passport to some company in China and they’re sending you six IDs for $200. You can’t visually look at the IDs anymore and know if it’s valid because these things are just so good.”
The scanners are from Intellicheck and cost the user about 25 cents per scan. That comes out to about $300 a month. The service is on a phone app so it’s quick to use at a bar’s front door.
Neal wants the city to fund half of the monthly cost for six months as part of a trial period for about 30 businesses. He is asking for about $30,000 from the city.
“If the city out of their hospitality fund or whatever bucket they have can help the local businesses here pick up half the cost for six months to get everybody on King Street to use it then we’ll really send a message to the general public that we’re not going to tolerate underage drinking,” said Neal.
Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg is in favor of the proposal along with two other councilmembers.
“We’ll have to look at the numbers and have to put in next year’s budget,” said Mayor Tecklenburg.
Mayor Tecklenburg says that a crack down would be good from a law enforcement perspective and a safety perspective.
“Well oftentimes with underage drinking you get folks who can’t handle it. It leads to DUIs and bad judgement on people’s part. Everything we can do to prevent that will keep order, keep these establishments safer and within the law,” said Mayor Tecklenburg.