‘Booze pops’ sparking controversy in city of Charleston

CHARLESTON, SC (WCBD) — The City of Charleston wants state regulators to take action to try to stop ice cream trucks from selling booze.

Mayor John Tecklenburg and Police Chief Greg Mullen wrote a letter to the Department of Revenue explaining why they’re against selling alcoholic popsicles out of vans.

Woodrow Norris started Booze Pops in July. He sells alcoholic popsicles and non-alcoholic ice cream out of his ice cream truck.

He travels around neighborhoods, downtown Charleston, and the beaches.

What Norris is doing is legal. Under the ABC Act, the Department of Revenue only regulates establishments that sell alcoholic beverages. The pre-packaged products Norris sells are considered food items. He says he only sells the alcoholic ice pops to those 21 and older.

“If you were making food products that had alcohol in it then you’d have to get a license and that’s why this is different,” said attorney Brook Bristow. “They’re not producing the products, and under the ABC code, having food with alcohol in it doesn’t subject you to the code.”

Bristow says this issue may be brought up in future legislative sessions, but likely not the current one. The next session starts in January 2018.

“We tend to have alcohol codes that are somewhat antiquated and don’t really take into account these new and innovative businesses,” said Bristow.

“People are finding these loopholes to get through and sell their products,” he said.

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