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Introduced Version - Originating in Committee Senate Bill 557 History

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Senate Bill No. 557

(By Senators Redd, Wooton, Burnette, Caldwell, Hunter, Kessler, Ross, Rowe and Snyder)

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[Originating in the Committee on the Judiciary;


reported March 21, 2001.]

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A BILL to amend and reenact section twenty-two, article three, chapter sixty of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to the sale of alcoholic liquor or nonintoxicating beer to persons under the age of twenty-one; prohibiting sale of alcoholic liquor or nonintoxicating beer without requiring identification from purchasers; exceptions; defenses; and penalties.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section twenty-two, article three, chapter sixty of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 3. SALES BY COMMISSIONER.

§60-3-22. Sales to certain persons prohibited.

(a) Alcoholic liquors and nonintoxicating beer as defined in section three, article sixteen, chapter eleven of this code shall not be sold to a person who is:
(1) Less Is less than twenty-one years of age;
(2) An Is known to be an habitual drunkard or mentally impaired;
(3) Intoxicated Appears to be intoxicated;
(4) Addicted Is known to be addicted to the use of any controlled substance as defined by any of the provisions of chapter sixty-a of this code; or
(5) Mentally incompetent.
(b) It shall be a defense to a violation of subdivision (1), subsection (a) of this section if the seller shows that the purchaser:
(1) Produced written evidence which showed his or her age to be at least the required age for purchase and which bore a physical description of the person named on the writing which reasonably described the purchaser; or
(2) Produced evidence of other facts that reasonably indicated at the time of sale that the purchaser was at least the required age.

(b) No individual shall sell alcoholic liquors and nonintoxicating beer as defined in section three, article sixteen, chapter eleven of this code to any person without, at the time of the sale, verifying the age of the person by a reliable photographic identification which contains the person's date of birth. A reliable photographic identification shall include a driver's license of this state or another state or an identification card issued by this state or another state, the government of the United States or a foreign country. Such identification shall not be required from a person whom the individual selling the alcoholic liquor or nonintoxicating beer has reasonable cause to believe is at least twenty-seven years of age or from a person whom the person has actual knowledge is twenty-one years of age or older. As used in this subsection, "reasonable cause" means having enough information to lead an ordinarily prudent individual to believe that the person in question is at least twenty-seven years of age. In determining whether an individual had reason to believe a person is at least twenty-seven years of age, the trier of fact may consider, but is not limited to considering, proof of the general appearance, facial characteristics, behavior and manner of the person.
(c) Any individual who violates the provisions of subsection (a) of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined twenty-five dollars for the first offense. Upon any subsequent violation at the same location or operating unit, the individual shall be fined as follows: At least one hundred dollars but not more than two hundred dollars for the second offense, if it occurs within two years of the first conviction; at least two hundred fifty dollars but not more than five hundred dollars for the third offense, if it occurs within two years of the first conviction; at least two hundred fifty dollars but not more than five hundred dollars for the fourth offense, if it occurs within five years of the first conviction; and at least one thousand dollars but not more than five thousand dollars for the fifth and any subsequent offenses, if the fifth or subsequent offense occurs within five years of the first conviction.
(d) In any criminal action brought pursuant to the provisions of subdivision (1), subsection (a) of this section, it shall be a defense that the individual complied with the provisions of subsection (b) of this section by requesting and being shown a qualifying photographic identification which showed the person in question to be at least twenty-one years of age,
(e) In any prosecution pursuant to the provisions of subsection (b) of this section for failure to require identification from a person under the age of twenty-seven, it shall be an absolute defense that the person to whom the product was sold was at least twenty-one years of age.
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(NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to ensure compliance with the sale of alcoholic liquors and nonintoxicating beer to minors by requiring those selling or giving alcoholic liquor or nonintoxicating beer to request proper identification from a buyer or recipient of liquor or beer and creating exceptions.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.)
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