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TENNESSEE COMPILATION OF SELECTED LAWS ON CHILDREN, YOUTH AND FAMILIES, 2011 EDITION

TENNESSEE CODE ANNOTATED

Title 39 Criminal Offenses

Chapter 15 Offenses Against the Family

Part 4 Children

39-15-413. Law enforcement efforts.

(a) (1) It is not a violation of §§ 39-15-404, 39-15-410, 39-17-401 - 39-17-427, 39-17-602, 39-17-603, 39-17-901 - 39-17-908, 39-17-911, 39-17-914, 39-17-918, 39-17-1003 - 39-17-1005, 39-17-1501 - 39-17-1508, or any other offense providing a prohibition for use of or sales to a minor, for a law enforcement officer to use or send a minor, or in the case of alcohol a person under twenty-one (21) years of age, to purchase smoking material, smoking paraphernalia, any smokeless tobacco product, alcohol, illegal drugs, state lottery ticket or share, or any other prohibited material for the purpose of aiding in the enforcement of laws prohibiting sales to or use of minors so long as the law enforcement officer has obtained the prior written approval of the minor's parent or legal guardian and the juvenile court. The consent of the minor's parent or legal guardian and the juvenile court shall not be required where the person is eighteen (18) years of age or older.

(2) It is not a violation of § 39-15-404, § 39-15-410, or §§ 39-17-1501 - 39-17-1508, or any other statute prohibiting the use, possession or sales of alcohol, beer, lottery tickets, tobacco products, smokeless tobacco or smoking material or paraphernalia to a minor or a person under twenty-one (21) years of age, for a merchant in the business of selling alcohol, beer, lottery tickets, tobacco products, smokeless tobacco or smoking material or paraphernalia, to use or send a minor, or in the case of alcohol or beer, a person under twenty-one (21) years of age, to purchase any such product for the purpose of aiding in the enforcement of laws and policies prohibiting sales by the merchant at the merchant's place of business and preventing sales of such products to or use by individuals under age from occurring.

(b) Prior to using a minor to perform illegal or delinquent acts for the purposes of aiding in the enforcement of the laws of this state as permitted by this section, the law enforcement officer or merchant shall obtain the written approval of the minor's parent or legal guardian and the juvenile court; provided, however, that the consent of the minor's parent or legal guardian and the juvenile court shall not be required if the person used to make any such purchase is eighteen (18) years of age or older.

(c) In order to use a minor, or in the case of alcohol or beer, a person under twenty-one (21) years of age, for any of the purposes permitted by this section, the requirements of this subsection (c) shall apply.

(1) The minor or person under twenty-one (21) years of age shall not:

(A) Purposely disguise the person's appearance so as to misrepresent the person's actual age; and

(B) Make statements designed to trick, mislead, encourage or confuse the employee.

(2) The minor or person under twenty-one (21) years of age shall:

(A) Be photographed, both before and after the law enforcement or merchant-initiated use of the person, for the purpose of creating a record of the person's appearance during the time of the permitted use of the person;

(B) Except only for those questions relating to the person's employment or purpose for engaging in the conduct, respond truthfully to all questions posed by the location employee, including, but not limited to, inquiries concerning the person's age; and

(C) If identification is demanded by the location employee, produce only a valid state-issued card, which indicates the person's actual date of birth.

(d) No prosecution for the violation of any statute prohibiting the sale of beer for off-premises consumption to a person under twenty-one (21) years of age shall be commenced, if the prosecution is based upon the use of a person under twenty-one (21) years of age, as authorized by this section, unless the person or the law enforcement officer supervising the person obtains the name of the permit holder and the employee of the permit holder from whom the beer was purchased or attempted to be purchased. All “stings” shall be conducted in accordance to state law in order to be valid. In addition, within ten (10) days of the date the action occurred, the law enforcement officer shall notify the permit holder in writing, either by mail or hand delivery, indicating:

(1) That an action recently occurred in which a person under twenty-one (21) years of age was used to purchase or attempt to purchase beer for off-premises consumption;

(2) The date and location of the action;

(3) The name of the permit holder and the employee from whom the beer was purchased or attempted to be purchased; and

(4) Whether the person was successful in making the purchase.

Acts 1989, ch. 591, § 1; 1990, ch. 1030, § 27; 1990, ch. 1092, § 9; 1992, ch. 802, § 1; 1994, ch. 872, § 11; 2003, ch. 198, §§ 1, 2; 2003, ch. 297, §§ 9, 10; 2006, ch. 864, § 13; 2007, ch. 73, § 1.

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