Distribution of Controlled substance within proximity of school

SECTION 44-53-445. Distribution of controlled substance within proximity of school.

(A) It is a separate criminal offense for a person to distribute, sell, purchase, manufacture, or to unlawfully possess with intent to distribute, a controlled substance while in, on, or within a one-half mile radius of the grounds of a public or private elementary, middle, or secondary school; a public playground or park; a public vocational or trade school or technical educational center; or a public or private college or university.

(B) For a person to be convicted of an offense pursuant to subsection (A), the person must:

(1) have knowledge that he is in, on, or within a one-half mile radius of the grounds of a public or private elementary, middle, or secondary school; a public playground or park; a public vocational or trade school or technical educational center; or a public or private college or university; and

(2) actually distribute, sell, purchase, manufacture, or unlawfully possess with intent to distribute, the controlled substance within a one-half mile radius of the grounds of a public or private elementary, middle, or secondary school; a public playground or park; a public vocational or trade school or technical educational center; or a public or private college or university.

(C) A person must not be convicted of an offense pursuant to subsection (A) if the person is stopped by a law enforcement officer for the controlled substance offense within a one-half mile radius of the grounds of a public or private elementary, middle, or secondary school; a public playground or park; a public vocational or trade school or technical educational center; or a public or private college or university, but did not actually commit the controlled substance offense within a one-half mile radius of the grounds of a public or private elementary, middle, or secondary school; a public playground or park; a public vocational or trade school or technical educational center; or a public or private college or university.

(D)(1) A person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than ten thousand dollars, or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

(2) When a violation involves only the purchase of a controlled substance, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

(E) For the purpose of creating inferences of intent to distribute, the inferences set out in Sections 44-53-370 and 44-53-375 apply to criminal prosecutions under this section.