FOX Carolina investigates online alcohol sales, deliveries - WNEM TV 5

FOX Carolina investigates online alcohol sales, deliveries

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The bottle of vodka Karl Daniel II was able to pick up that his father ordered online. (File/FOX Carolina) The bottle of vodka Karl Daniel II was able to pick up that his father ordered online. (File/FOX Carolina)

People can shop for just about anything online.

Teenagers often clog their web browsers with social media and other retail sites. But now their tech savvy shopping carts are also illegally filled with items like vodka, rum, beer and wine.

"It's not the smart thing to do," Karl Daniel II said.

He's like most 16-year-olds when it comes to being in love with video games, but he also said the reality is some of his classmates are interested in other extracurricular activities.

"I hear some crazy stuff, like different drugs like acid and cocaine and all that," Karl Daniel II said.

Despite the pressures, his father Karl Daniel Sr. said he taught his son right from wrong. He's the owner of the Empowerment Zone in Greenville County, which is a community center with after-school programs and mentoring sessions for children.

He said at the center and at home he teaches young people to make good decisions.

"I don't expect anything from the world, but I expect everything from my son," Karl Daniel Sr. said.

And that's why he and his son agreed to take part in a FOX Carolina Investigation.

"It all boils down to choice," Karl Daniel Sr. said.

During the investigation, a FOX Carolina camera crew wanted to know if alcohol would be dropped off at the Daniels' doorstep without an ID check after an online order - especially since both Karl Daniel II and Karl Daniel Sr. have the same name.

Karl Daniel Sr. logged onto a web site Drink up NY and bought a bottle of vodka for $23.99. He checked a box for overnight delivery and read the disclaimer for consumers under 21 years old.

"I understand that a person 21 years of age or older must sign for the order upon delivery," Karl Daniel Sr. said.

During a delivery attempt, a United Parcel Service driver asked Karl Daniel II if he was 21 years old or older and when he said he was not, the driver said he could not sign for the box.

The UPS driver left without leaving the package, so with Karl Daniel Sr.'s permission a FOX Carolina crew along with Karl Daniel II went undercover to see if the 16-year-old would be able to pick up the package.

A clerk asked to look at Karl Daniel II's driver's license then asked him to sign for the package. Karl Daniel II was able to walk out with a packaged bottle of vodka. When he returned home, he handed it to his father unopened.

"I'm not shocked, not shocked," Karl Daniel Sr. said. "My son could've taken that alcohol, come home, got drunk, got in the car and drove and crashed."

Although he ordered the alcohol online, he said the investigation proved how easy it is for teenagers to order online if they wanted to, or to intercept a delivery.

"I believe it happens more times than not," Karl Daniel Sr. said.

A UPS spokesperson, Susan Rosenberg, released this statement to FOX Carolina:

"While it is the responsibility of the seller to ensure alcohol is sold only to legal age adults, UPS takes the delivery of wine to minors seriously. UPS has gone to great lengths to develop a "Wine Shippers Program" to guard against shipment of wine to minors while providing for the needs of licensed commercial distributors and meeting the requirements of those states that allow inter- and intra-state wine shipping to consumers.

"Shipment of beer or spirits is only accepted in the UPS system for business-to-business shipments to licensed distributors or retailers. Our three-pronged approach defines a clear process for shipping customers and within UPS operations, sophisticated technology and network training to recognize labeling and adult signature requirements.

"Our process includes follow up with customers that do not comply with our policies. UPS reserves the right to discontinue service with repeat offenders."

FOX Carolina also tried to contact the online company Drink up NY and had not received a response as Thursday, April 25.

Copyright 2013 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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