Charleston officials announce rollout date for program aimed at cutting underage drinking

Published: Nov. 30, 2022 at 2:25 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 30, 2022 at 5:44 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The next time a bar asked for your ID in downtown Charleston you might see an app scanning it.

Charleston city officials Mayor John Tecklenburg, Councilmember Mike Seekings and Charleston Police Chief Luther Reynolds, along with others, announced the official release date of an ID scanner pilot program Wednesday.

The program will be available for up to 31 restaurants and bars in the King Street area.

It works through a scanner called the Intellicheck that can verify your identity and age through a mobile device app.

“They’re going to ask for your driver’s license, scan the back of it, and in a second or less, we’re going to return whether that license is real or not,” Intellicheck CEO Bryan Lewis said.

Ultimately, businesses hope this will help them spot fake IDs.

“Underage drinkers tend to binge drink at a much greater rate than legal-age drinkers,” Lewis said. “So when you combine youth with binge drinking, crime goes up and fights happen.”

So far, more than 24 businesses have signed up to participate in the program.

Both Intellicheck and the city of Charleston say they hope the partnership will ultimately keep everyone, including those underage, safe.

The program kicks off on Dec. 5.