Mixed feelings on drinking limitations

Thursday, Newschannel 15 told you about a story where law enforcement officials in Horry County are stepping up enforcement on the serving of alcohol to people who are already intoxicated.

"We had an operation last night, and another one tonight," Brian Booth with Shoreline Behavioral services said.

In addition to being Shoreline's Coordinator of Prevention Services for Shoreline Behavioral Health Services, Booth is a member of the South Carolina 15th Judicial Circuit's Alcohol Enforcement Team.

He says the team has been in existance in the 15th Judicial Circuit, which includes Horry and Georgetown counties, since 2007. The team mainly concentrates on enforcement of DUI and underage drinking.

The operations consist of undercover officers entering a bar and if they witness people over serving a patron who appears intoxicated, the server and bar could be fined.

"We're not out to spy on people and find the first person. We're not counting drinks and that we're looking for the person that is grossly intoxicated," Booth said.

He adds the enforcement effort will continue over the next several months, with law enforcement agencies working together to enforce the law.

Restaurant general manager Wayland Wright has mixed feelings about the new crackdown.

"You're being set up," he said.

Stephen Green with the Myrtle Beach Hospitality association says, while it is not required by law, the best thing bars and restaurants can do is train their employees on what to do.

"The Myrtle Beach Area Hospitality Association encourages our member businesses to send their front-of-the house staff to participate in responsible alcohol training such as ServSafe. Created by our national partner the National Restaurant Association, this training addresses today's biggest challenges, including checking IDs, alcohol laws and responsibility and determining intoxication. Responsible alcohol service is an issue that touches our businesses, customers and the Grand Strand community as a whole," Green said.