UPDATE:

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Charleston City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to approve the pilot program.


CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Charleston leaders are looking to crack down on underage drinking with a new pilot program that will help businesses easily identify fake IDs.

A mobile app called Intellicheck has the ability to detect a fake ID within seconds of being scanned. Charleston City Councilman Mike Seekings negotiated a deal with the company to bring the technology to Downtown Charleston.

The pilot program will give 31 bars and restaurants in the Central Business District unlimited, free access to the app for six months.

“It’s just one small step towards making sure that King Street and the downtown business district is as safe as it possibly can be,” Seekings said.

According to city officials, Intellicheck offered them a $40,000 flat rate. That cost will be covered by the city and the Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Roy Neal is the owner of El Jefe Texican Cantina on King Street. He brought the Intellicheck idea to city council two months ago and has been using the app at his business ever since. He said it costs about $250 a month.

“It’s really changed the way that underaged people that might go out and try to slip into an establishment. We’ve seen an impact and we just want to level the playing field and make sure everybody is doing the same thing,” Neal said.

Other King Street establishments are also backing the move.

“If Intellicheck is going to help us deter underage drinking and make sure that all establishments are doing things the right way, then we’re in full support and we encourage everybody else to get on board,” said owner Keith Benjamin.

The program is expected to be up and running by the middle of December.

“So, if you got a fake ID after about December 15th and you’re on King Street, leave it at home because you’re not going to get in,” Seekings said.

According to the councilman, businesses will have to negotiate with Intellicheck on prices after the six months are up.