South Carolina              
Administrative Law Court
Edgar A. Brown building 1205 Pendleton St., Suite 224 Columbia, SC 29201 Voice: (803) 734-0550

SC Administrative Law Court Decisions

Spinx Company, Inc., d/b/a Spinx #191 vs. DOR

South Carolina Department of Revenue

Spinx Company, Inc., d/b/a Spinx #191
2601 Woodruff Road
Simpsonville, SC

South Carolina Department of Revenue

For the Petitioner:
David M. Yokel, Esquire

For the Protestant:
R.H. Patterson, Sr.




This matter comes before me pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. § 61-2-260 (Supp. 2002) and S.C. Code Ann. § 1-23-310 et seq. (Supp. 2002) upon the filing of an application by Petitioner Spinx Company, Inc., d/b/a Spinx #191 (“Petitioner”), for an off-premises beer and wine permit for a location at 2601 Woodruff Road, Simpsonville, South Carolina (“the subject location”). Upon receipt of a written protest to the application, the South Carolina Department of Revenue (“DOR”) transmitted the case to the Administrative Law Judge Division (“ALJD”) for a hearing. After timely notice to the parties and the Protestant, a contested case hearing was held on March 20, 2003, at the ALJD in Columbia, South Carolina. DOR was excused from attending the hearing. Upon review of the relevant and probative evidence and applicable law, the application for an off-premises beer and wine permit is granted.


Having carefully considered all testimony and arguments presented at the hearing of this matter, and taking into account the credibility and accuracy of the evidence, I make the following findings of fact by a preponderance of the evidence:

1.Notice of the time, date, place and subject matter of the hearing was given to all parties and to the Protestant in a timely manner.

2.Petitioner seeks an off-premise beer and wine permit for the subject location of 2601 Woodruff Road, Simpsonville, South Carolina. Petitioner operates a convenience store at that location.

3.The Petitioner purchased the subject location on November 18, 2002 from Bi-Lo, LLC. Prior to that date, Bi-Lo, LLC had operated a convenience store under the trade name Golden Gallon at the location, which had been licensed with an off-premises beer and wine permit since 1999.

4.The Petitioner applied for an off-premises beer and wine permit for the subject location on November 25, 2002. Petitioner received a temporary permit pending review by DOR. The temporary permit expires on March 25, 2003.

5.In its agency transmittal document, DOR stated that, based on the Petitioner’s application and the investigation conducted by South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (“SLED”), the Petitioner meets all statutory requirements for an off-premises beer and wine permit.

6.The Protestant, R.H. Patterson, Sr. (“Protestant”), sent a document to DOR protesting Petitioner’s application on the grounds of overcrowding of alcohol licensing, traffic conditions, and criminal activity in the area.

7.The Protestant testified at the hearing before the ALJD that he is concerned about permitting the subject location because there are already too many stations in the State of South Carolina selling alcohol for the number of police and SLED officers in the State to effectively patrol and enforce the laws. The Protestant expressed concerns regarding the way alcohol is handled in this State, and he emphasized that he is interested in the prevention of crime and alcohol abuse. The Protestant presented two witnesses who concurred with his views.

8.The Petitioner presented the testimony of Tracey Lilly, the Director of Human Resources for Spinx Company, that to her knowledge there have been no problems with criminal activity at the subject location. She testified that Petitioner checks the criminal backgrounds of all of its employees working in its convenience stores.

9.The Petitioner also presented the testimony of Andy Hubner, the Division Manager of the subject location and Director of Training. Mr. Hubner testified that all new employees of Petitioner go through an extensive orientation and testing program regarding the sale of alcohol before they are placed in any of Petitioner’s stores. Mr. Hubner testified that there have been no problems with any criminal activity at the subject location. He testified that the subject location is in a predominately commercial setting, and has been since before the time Petitioner bought it; thus, the Petitioner is not increasing any traffic at the location as a result of its operation of a convenience store and its application for an off-premises beer and wine permit.


Based upon the findings of fact, I conclude as a matter of law the following:

1.S.C. Code Ann. § 1-23-600 (Supp. 2002) grants jurisdiction to the ALJD to hear contested cases under the Administrative Procedures Act (“APA”). Furthermore, S.C. Code Ann. § 61-2-260 (Supp. 2002) grants the ALJD the responsibilities to determine contested matters governing alcoholic beverages, beer and wine.

2.The only issue in dispute is the location. S.C. Code Ann. § 61-4-520 (Supp. 2002), which sets forth the requirements for the issuance of a beer and wine permit, provides in part:

No permit authorizing the sale of beer or wine may be issued unless . . .

(6) The location of the proposed place of business of the applicant is in the opinion of the department a proper one.

(7)The department may consider, among other factors, as indications of unsuitable location, the proximity to residences, schools, playgrounds and churches.

S.C. Code Ann. § 61-4-520 (6), (7) (Supp. 2002).

3.Although “proper location” is not statutorily defined, broad discretion is vested in the judge in determining the fitness or suitability of a particular location. Fast Stops, Inc. v. Ingram, 278 S.C. 593, 281 S.E.2d 118 (1981). The determination of suitability of a location is not necessarily a function solely of geography. It involves an infinite variety of considerations related to the nature and operation of the proposed business and its impact on the community within which it is to be located. Kearney v. Allen, 287 S.C. 324, 338 S.E.2d 335 (1985). Any evidence adverse to the location may be considered. The proximity of a location to a church, school or residences is a proper ground by itself upon which the location may be found to be unsuitable and a permit denied. Byers v. S. C. ABC Comm’n, 305 S.C. 243, 407 S.E.2d 653 (1991). Further, the court can consider whether “there have been law enforcement problems in the area.” Palmer v. S.C. ABC Comm’n, 282 S.C. 246, 317 S.E.2d 476 (Ct. App. 1984).

4.Without sufficient evidence of an adverse impact on the community, the application must not be denied if the statutory criteria are satisfied. The fact that a Protestant objects to the issuance of a permit is not a sufficient reason by itself to deny the application. See 45 Am.Jur. 2d Intoxicating Liquors § 162 (Supp. 1995); 48 C.J.S. Intoxicating Liquors § 119 (1981).

5.An important factor is whether the location has in the recent past been permitted and whether the location is now more or less suitable than in the past. Taylor v. Lewis, 261 S.C. 168, 198 S.E.2d 801 (1973).

6.The subject location has had an off-premises beer and wine permit since 1999, and the location has operated as a convenience store since 1999. The location is no less suitable now than it was in 1999.

7.Considering all relevant factors, I find that the proposed location is a proper location. S.C. Code Ann. § 61-4-520(6) (Supp. 2002).

8.The Petitioner meets the requirements for the issuance of a beer and wine permit.


Based upon the foregoing findings of fact and conclusions of law,

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Petitioner’s application for an off-premises beer and wine permit for the location at 2601 Woodruff Road, Simpsonville, South Carolina, is granted;





March 21, 2003

Columbia, South Carolina

Brown Bldg.






Copyright © 2022 South Carolina Administrative Law Court