Greenville DWI defense and underage alcohol defense lawyers know that law enforcement agencies in North Carolina commonly set up focused enforcement operations surrounding public events to enforce DWI and underage drinking laws. This weekend’s 2012 Azalea festival in Wilmington was no exception.
North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement agents issued citations or arrested 261 people over the weekend during the annual Azalea Festival. ALE officials say that a large number of the citations involved underage drinking during the enforcement operation that began Thursday and ran through Saturday. A total of 308 charges were brought against 261 people.
Underage drinking tickets can be somewhat confusing for many people. Because North Carolina law brings all criminal charges against a person who is at least 16-years-old in adult court, many people are later caught off guard when they learn that paying such a ticket is the equivalent of a criminal conviction that is entered of the person’s permanent adult criminal record.
ALE officials say that 107 people were charged with underage possession offenses during the weekend festival. In addition to the underage alcohol charges against individuals, two businesses were accused of providing alcohol to a minor, and those allegations reportedly were sent on to the North Carolina ABC Commission for review.
During the weekend event, 15 people were charged with using a fake ID. In North Carolina, mere possession of a fake ID is a criminal offense.
Fifteen people were charged with possession of marijuana at the festival. ALE officials accuse five people of driving while impaired surrounding the event. The DWI cases reportedly were turned over to the State Highway Patrol.
Source: Star News, “More than 260 arrested, cited during Azalea Festival,” April 16, 2012