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Davis v. Peachtree City

304 S.E.2d 701 (1983)

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Davis v. Peachtree City

Georgia Supreme Court

304 S.E.2d 701 (1983)

Facts

Melvin Davis (defendant) was president of a chain of convenience stores called Kwickie Food Stores and held a retail wine license at his Peachtree City store location. Davis was charged with selling alcoholic beverages to a minor when an employee at this location sold wine to an underaged customer. Although it was undisputed that Davis had no knowledge of and did not authorize the sale, he was nevertheless convicted of the crime by way of a city ordinance that made the holder of a city liquor license subject to vicarious criminal liability “for the conduct or actions of his employees while in his employment.” Davis was fined $200 and given 60 days in jail, with the confinement to be suspended contingent upon payment of the fine and Davis never again violating the laws of Georgia. Davis appealed his conviction, arguing that these ordinances violated the due-process clauses of the Georgia and United States Constitutions because the ordinances provided for the automatic imposition of vicarious criminal liability for actions of his employees that were done without his knowledge, consent, or authorization and that were not the result of negligence attributable to him.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Bell, J.)

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