Over 60 Years Of Combined Experience

One of the Things I Hate About Kombucha: It Got Andrew Keegan Arrested

On Behalf of | Jan 23, 2015 | Firm News

The star of the 1999 movie “Ten Things I Hate About You” was busted earlier this year for selling kombucha, a fermented tea drink, at an organization fundraiser. Andrew Keegan was a teenage star in the 1990s, with recurring roles on “7th Heaven” and “Party of Five.” Keegan, who is now 36, formerly dated LeAnn Rimes. He founded a spiritual group known as “Full Circle,” of which he is the primary funding source.

Kombucha, which has some minimal alcohol content due to the fermenting process, is a central part of Keegan’s spirituality. Neither Keegan nor his group applied for a single-day alcohol sales permit.

After the California Alcoholic Beverage Control received a complaint of potentially criminal activity, it investigated. As a result, Keegan and Full Circle were cited for selling alcohol without a license, which is a misdemeanor in California. Containers of the beverage, Kombucha Dog, were removed from the fundraising event.

Montana law requires that sales of alcoholic beverages comply with the Montana Code. As in California, it is illegal in Montana to sell alcoholic beverages without a license. If convicted of this crime, a person is subject to a prison term of between one and five years; a fine of up to $5,000; or both. In addition, the place where beverages are knowingly sold illegally is deemed in Montana to be a public nuisance. This is a criminal misdemeanor. This separate offense is punishable by a fine of up to $100, as well as a prison term of between 30 days and six months.

The Montana Department of Revenue, Liquor Control Division, issues special permits for liquor sales, but there are strict limits on who may apply and how many may be issued each year.

The attorneys at Tipp & Buley are experienced in the defense of those charged with crimes. We have served Western Montana, including Missoula, for decades, and we’ll put our experience to work for you. For a free initial consultation, call us today at 406-389-4215.