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Dec 29, 2008 09:54 AM

Liquor Store Rant


My fiancee and I decided to make a liquor store run for some tequila (I'm on a margarita kick). I decided to leave my wallet at home as I was in the middle of doing laundry at the time and hadn't brought it downstairs with me - We live in a large apartment complex with a laundry room.

We get to the liquor store and browse for a bit. There is someone handing out 'Pisco Sour' samples in the middle of the store, which we both tried. Tasty. We then grab the tequila and head to the register.

Here's where things get messy...

The person at the register asks for both of our IDs and I explain that I left mine at home. She replies that she cannot sell the liquor to my fiancee unless I have my ID as well - store policy. Unfortunately, this particular liquor store is not exactly around the corner. We drove to a farther store, as we knew they had a sale on Jose Cuervo. So, we proceed to inquire about this 'policy,' especially since I had been this store before and bought liquor without being carded at all. She isn't going to budge so we leave.

At this point, we decide that the best thing to do is to have me wait outside while he goes back into the store and buys the alcohol.

However, about 10 minutes later I see him walking back to me, empty-handed and stunned. Apparently, he walked in, grabbed the tequila, and, before he even got to the register, was stopped by a gentleman. "Sir, weren't you just in here with a young lady?"

"Yes. She got on the metro and went home."

"I'm sorry, sir, but we've already seen her, so we cannot allow you to purchase this."

"But, she's gone home. She left. She's no longer with me."

"That doesn't matter. We've seen you with her."

"Wait, so because you've seen me with someone who couldn't produce an ID, that means I can never purchase alcohol from this store again?"

"Only after 24-hours. The only way you can buy alcohol in less than 24-hours is if she comes with you and shows us her ID."

With that, we head home, confused and irked.

1) We DRANK alcohol in their store.
2) I purchased alcohol before this incident with no ID at all
3) As an little experiment, I went back to the store about 2 weeks later and walked up to the register with 2 handles of tequila. Yep, you guessed it, I wasn't carded.

Is it just me, or are there several things wrong with this so-called 'Store Policy'?

Also, Has anyone had a similar experience with being denied an alcohol purchase unless everyone in your party showed ID? My friend said that this happened to her once at Trader Joe's. I think it's odd. Unless the store is going to follow you home and watch you (or someone with a valid ID) drink their alcohol, they really aren't protecting any underage drinking, if that's what they are trying to do. Thoughts?

  1. How frustrating. It would be nice if their store policy was applied consistently!
    I have seen this happen, but only when the second party was significantly younger looking than the person making the purchase. And they did not let the person I'm thinking of purchase the booze even when the younger looking person left the store.

    9 Replies
    1. re: jujuthomas

      My parents thought nothing of taking us into liquor stores as kids when they went to buy booze or wine. We did not live in a state that prohibited children when accompanied by an adult. I can't imagine what their reaction would have been to that. It is baffling and a bit outrageous.

      1. re: Candy

        I remember going with my father to the liquor store when he bought wine - of course he knew the owner pretty well, it was a small town. :)

        1. re: jujuthomas

          I remember being 10, and buying a 6 pack for my dad at the local mom and pop shop. He gave me $3 and sent me in for Pasbt Blue Ribbon, and a pack of Winston. They put it in a paper bag. and sent me on my merry way.

        2. re: Candy

          I must be one of those parents ...hanging head in shame...mine has been going into the liquor store since he was a baby and even at four knows to ask"is that an adult drink" before trying to take a drink of your drink.Of course I have also taken him to the cigar store and race track!

          1. re: LaLa

            I'm one of those parents, too.

            Just be careful what you let your kids try. My 11-year-old daughter likes French 75s and Romeo y Julietas. I'm gonna have a lot of 'splaining to do...

            1. re: alanbarnes

              French 75's are perfect for 11 year olds, but to be completely honest I was on a jag a few months ago. Sweet, sour , fizzy? What's there not to like?

              1. re: KTinNYC

                "French 75's are perfect for 11 year olds"

                huh? Do you mean these?

                1. re: im_nomad

                  To add on to my early alcohol experiences, yes we were allowed sips of wine at home and I remember being very excited at receiving a cocktail menu in Montreal when I was 14. Not on my own of course but with my parents. They got a kick out of it too.

                  1. re: im_nomad

                    It was said with tongue planted in cheek but it would be understandable why a child would like a French 75. They are as I said up post, they are sweet, sour and fizzy.

        3. I've it had it happen when I was a few years younger so I don't find very odd. The liquor store is simply protecting itself from being fined/charged with possibly selling to minors. Police routinely do stings on business that sell/serve alcohol to see if they will sell to minors. The store is covering their butt in case they get caught. I'm sure the number 1 excuse stores get when they card someone who doesn't have their ID is, I left it at home. While they obviously can't follow you home, they are still responsible if you are a minor and you received alcohol from them.

          While it is interesting that they don't card you by yourself, it's quite possible the fact you were with someone else and didn't have your ID probably looked suspect to them--it makes it look like they are purchasing something for you. It sounds like the store needs to do a better job of being consistent with who they card, but the bottom line is you were unable to produce ID.

          21 Replies
          1. re: pollymerase

            but shouldn't the fact that one of us could produce and ID have some baring? Doesn't that put the responsibility in the cardholders hands? I guess I just don't understand the point of the policy (I'm not blaming the store for that, other than that if it's store policy, it should be upheld all the time).

            If a mother comes in with her 5-year-old child, will she not be allowed to purchase a bottle of wine for her and her husband?

            If I was under 21 and I was aware of the policy, it would have been just as easy for me to wait at the corner for my fiancee to buy me the alcohol. I'm not condoning the purchase of alcohol for minors, I just don't think that asking people - who are not purchasing the liquor - to show ID is necessary as it really does nothing to prevent underage drinking.

            1. re: Melanie

              Your points are all well received....however, when it comes to the law, the law enforcement agencies are not very understanding......and many laws may or may not be practical....but do not expect that to change anytime soon for sake of this discussion.

              The store owners are not looking to further complicate their lives dealing with answering charges....even though you were of age, you were not carrying your ID. Think of it like a traffic stop and you are unable to produce your ID or Insurance ID. You know you have it, but the law doesn't care. They are only interested in generating fines to meet their operating budgets and justify their existence.....and the reason you will still receive a ticket.

              1. re: fourunder

                Fair enough - and agreed about law enforcement agencies not being very understanding (which often makes sense). However, regarding your driving comparison, I would not expect to have to show my ID if I wasn't the one who was driving.

                1. re: Melanie

                  However, regarding your driving comparison, I would not expect to have to show my ID if I wasn't the one who was driving.


                  Again, you would be correct, but in a traffic stop, sometimes the law gets it wrong. Assuming you are stopped in a car where you are the front seat passenger....the officer claims you were the driver and switched seats. You know you were you think this has never happened....especially when considering underage teenage drivers? In this scenario, your screwed because you have to prove your innocence......and DNA testing will not help. The bottom line is the the officer asks for the ID and you have to produce it and defend yourself at the time and probably later as well...very expensively.

                  It's the same with the liquor purchase at the store. You were in the store and part of the party making the purchase. Even if though you and your fiance are of age to legally purchase the liquor in the store, after the purchase is made, if the law decides to question becomes part of an ongoing investigation and they are permissible to ask you for any information they request as part of the investigation. The liquor store is required to ask for proper ID for any sale by code. They can be cited for selling to you as part of a group and you not being able to produce a valid ID.

                  1. re: fourunder

                    fourunder, I think that we do agree. I would certainly show my ID to an officer who asked me to do so at anytime, be it in the driver seat, passenger seat, or simply walking down the street.

                    My irritation was that I don't agree with the policy, though I do not fault the store for upholding it. In fact, my fiancee didn't have any harsh words or attitude with the store manager (or whoever it was) at all, he was simply trying to understand the policy.

                    However, I do blame the store for being inconsistent and I simply disagree with this particular law (though, obviously, I'm not going to win that one :))

                    1. re: Melanie

                      I think maybe you can chalk this one up to "lesson learned." You don't have to bring your wallet next time if your fiancé is paying, but you should at least bring your license.

                      Yeah, it would have been a PITA to have to run back upstairs for your license/ID. But it ended up being more of a PITA to not be able to buy any alcohol at all, right?

                      1. re: LindaWhit

                        Back in the old days (when guys had to carry their draft card at all times) you could be charged with vagrancy if you didn't have any ID on you. I only know because it happened to one of my friends, we had a real gung ho cop roaming our town at the time.

                        And a few years ago, I got stopped for no seat belt and they also took my husband's license and gave him a ticket for the same thing. Don't know what would have happened if he didn't have it with him, might have been ugly. Anyway we both wear our seatbelts now, lesson learned.

                2. re: fourunder

                  Here's a question; what if a parent is running errands with their 10-year old child in tow and stops in to buy a bottle of wine. Is that parent SOL because the kid can't produce an ID?

                  Edit: Just saw Kevin B's post.

                  1. re: fourunder

                    I've heard of this elsewhere as well. The law says they cannot sell to anyone under 21 and that you cannot serve minors. The store is breaking no law by selling to the fiance with ID. That's the end of the store's responsibility. Why do they assume that a consumer is about to break the law when they leave? Can a 21 year old friend not go to a liquor store with a 20 year old friend and buy something without sharing? Sure, why not?

                    This is a paternalistic policy, and if I were you, I wouldn't shop there in the future.

                    1. re: ArkhamEscapee

                      Wrong. The liquor store clerk can be held liabel if there is a reasonable expectation that the person who is over 21 will share with someone who is under 21. If the person who is under 21 who is in the store goes and kills someone in a drunk driving accident later in the night, the liquor store clerk would most certainly be held accountable.

                      I realize that in this situation the person was over 21 but just didn't have their ID, but no ID no sale.

                  2. re: Melanie

                    The point of the policy is not to provide alcohol to minors. If they suspect you might be a minor and can't prove otherwise, it is their responsibility (as set forth by the law) not to sell alcohol to you. Obviously, the mother is not purchasing alcohol for a 5 year old child, so I don't really think that argument has merit.

                    When I used to tend bar in a restaurant I had often had two people order drinks, but only one had their ID. I obviously served the person with their ID, but I would not (or rather, could not) serve the person without an ID. It would not be uncommon for the person with an ID to later try to order two drinks. I would have to explain that I could only serve them one as their friend had no ID. I also would then have to watch them and make sure they weren't sharing. It was a major nuisance for me and I'm sure incredibly annoying for them, but the law is the law, and I'm not going to get fined for serving alcohol to a minor. Obviously this isn't exactly the same situation as you are encountered, but the underlying point is the same--the store/restaurant/place of business is not allowed to provide alcohol to a minor.

                    1. re: pollymerase

                      OK, I have a 15-year old daughter. So I can't bring her with me to buy a bottle of wine for dinner? What if she's 16? 17? Where, EXACTLY, do you draw the line?

                      I seriously shudder when I see so many people willing to acquiesce to this continual erosion of their ability to do SOMETHING PERFECTLY LEGAL. I'm completely with you, Melanie - this policy is stupid and irrational, and I would call the store ownership, tell them I'm not coming back until they wise up, and tell all my friends about it. Maybe when it hits the store in the pocketbook, they'll get the message.

                      1. re: KevinB

                        Unfortunately, the message they will get is when they lose their liquor license and have to pay 10s to 100s of thousands of dollars in fines when a 20 year-old gets arrested after walking into the store and having a friend buy them alcohol. Or worse--the minor gets injured/injures someone else after having drank said alcohol and the store gets sued.

                        The store is simply following the law.

                        1. re: pollymerase

                          But they won't lose their license for selling alcohol to someone with ID. And they also won't lose their license if said 21 yr old drives home and in the privacy of their home gives alcohol to said 20 year old... because the person actually providing the alcohol to the minor will get in trouble, not the store... because the store didn't break the law. It's that simple.

                          1. re: ArkhamEscapee

                            Here on Long Island, the 21 year old will get arrested, even in their own home. Happens all the time. Below zero tolerance nowadays.
                            Sorry just saw your last sentence and can't erase the above. Anyway, I think the store was just suspicious of the devious behavior of the buyers, and I know I wouldn't take a chance of being a test case for local laws around here.

                        2. re: KevinB


                          I also have shopped for wine and spirits with an under-age child with me. Never carded ( neither I NOR my child), but that's maybe because I shopped at a store where I was known. Might be different in another shop. That said, I agree with your statement >>erosion of their ability to do SOMETHING PERFECTLY LEGAL.<<

                          We have a lot of front-end liabilities in this country, for some odd reason. Melanie (OP) wasn't doing anything illegal ( we have to carry our "papers" at all times now?). Her fiance was buying (not illegal), not her (sans ID). When I buy wine (legal) and my teenager is standing next to me (sans ID), do I get shaken down? No, and I would hope the same for the OP and her fiance. Still, *we* like to lay blame for alcohol-related mishaps on someone who has some money - bar owners, liquor store owners, etc., not those who misused, and misused illegally.

                          I think the whole thing is silly, as under-age drinkers, should they decide to, can get whatever they want. To have legal-age buyers turned away because someone in their party cannot prove to be the age of 21? Ridiculous.

                          Still - to Melanie - next time, bring your ID. Sometimes you have to play in an arena that's unfair.


                          1. re: cayjohan

                            >>erosion of their ability to do SOMETHING PERFECTLY LEGAL.<<
                            Melanie (OP) wasn't doing anything illegal ( we have to carry our "papers" at all times now?).

                            Exactly. That's just what pisses me off. People don't have to take our rights away if we *give* them away. Too many Americans are too willing to accept that the the police have the right to stop and question them without probable cause, that you can be denied a legal service without probable cause, etc.

                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                              It's not perfectly legal for everyone to buy alcohol, just those over twenty one.

                          2. re: KevinB

                            in my state you can not enter a liquor store even if you are not making a purchase unless you are 21 years of age. That would be where they draw the line.

                            1. re: Firegoat

                              Firegoat: That makes perfect sense to me - you put the rules up front, zero tolerance, and everyone knows that the deal is.

                              Hardly describes Melanie's case, IMHO.

                    2. Its their store, they can run it how they like, and most bars/liquor stores near me have signs up that they can refuse service to anyone for any reason, at any time. I dont see anything wrong with how the store handled this situation.

                      Ive had this happen to me at a grocery store once, its not that unusual. I didnt raise a fuss, and went elsewhere for my alcohol.

                      Not a big deal in the game of life.

                      1. These are laws and guidelines set up by the state which you reside in for businesses holding licenses for resale or consumption. They exist for reasons for everyone's protections. I understand your frustration, but the past is the past. Whether policy was enforced or neglected has nothing to do with it. The store made notice of the situation and applied the policies set forth by the state....and or their own corporate policy. You were made known of the policies, but you chose to ignore them and instead tried to circumvent them.

                        Do you really find it incredible the store was not going to jeopardize it's liquor or business license in your case? Some restaurants, even if they know you are 30 years old , require their staff to card patrons before serving them.....yes I believe it is overkill, but the old timers find this policy amusing...the younger ones find it's the world we live in due to the litigious nature of today's society

                        No liquor store wants to turn your business away, but now you know the rules....make sure you have your ID and move forward and not back. Ten years from will remember your experience and wish they still carded you when you purchase your liquor in the future.

                        35 Replies
                        1. re: fourunder

                          Some restaurants, even if they know you are 30 years old , require their staff to card patrons before serving them.....yes I believe it is overkill,
                          Agree on the overkill. The Chili's near me carded me when I was 44yo. They said their policy as stated by management was anyone who looks under 50 had to show their ID. Now, I've seen some very young looking 65 year olds who could easily pass for 45.

                          I can't even fathom being carded at age 65, and quite frankly, would probably not wish to dine/drink there. I haven't been back to a Chili's since my situation...while I told the (VERY young!) waitress that it was semi-flattering, it was also completely ridiculous as I was easily old enough to be her mother. She agreed, but said "it's what management requires. We all hate it, and believe me, you're not the first to be so surprised!"

                          1. re: LindaWhit

                            Some states are more strict than others but in many states every patron in a bar needs to have VALID identification, no expired licenses and such. This is for everyone in the establishment regardless of their age, regardless if they are 21 or 81. Bar owners that don't comply can be fined and their liquor licenses can be put in jeopardy.

                            1. re: KTinNYC

                              Yes, I'm aware of that. But Massachusetts had never seemed to have had that law, at least in the many bars or restaurants that I had gone into in the 15+ years I had been living here before Chili's carded me at 44yo. And this Chili's is in MA. One that I had been in before. And one in which had never had to show my proof of age before.

                              So were they serving potentially underaged drinkers prior to that? I don't know. But since I've been in many bars and restaurants after this incident in Chili's in Burlington, and have never been carded since then, I doubt that it was a changing MA law. As I said - the waitress said it was a management rule. Their rule to make, I know. But one that, to me, seems to be overkill when the patron is well over the (visible) age in which one is allowed to drink.

                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                Some bars are stricter than others, some managers/bartenders in the same bars choose to enforce rules that others don't.

                                I learned the hard way that Seattle is very strict with the valid ID rule. Being from NYC I don't drive often so at one point I let my license lapse. I went to visit a friend in Seattle and was turned away from a number of bars that would not serve me because I no longer had a valid ID. I begged and pleaded and try to rationalize with them that the ID had expired not me all to no avail.

                                I've checked more than my share of ID's in my day and I can say unless the patron looks really young I have never checked to see if it had expired.

                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                  EVERYONE is carded at the Fleet Center- I remember bringing some clients from Italy to a Celtics game- one of the gentleman was 55+- and he had to show is passport to get a beer- he got a big kick out of it. But I guess it costs mega bucks for a concession stand, so they really ptotect themselves.

                                  1. re: macca

                                    I look at the Garden and Fenway as different from a bar or restaurant - you're getting all ages there at whatever show or sports event they are having, and it can get beyond frenetic during a break or intermission, so requiring ID makes complete sense to me.

                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                      That is true, but it was so funny to see the reaction of my client. But, to keep on topic- I have been to local liquor stores with my 19 yo neice, and have never had a problem- must be different rules for different states.

                                      1. re: macca

                                        I can imagine the stories he told when he went back to Italy, especially when kids are drinking wine much earlier there. :-)

                                    2. re: macca

                                      Everyone is carded at the Oakland Coliseum, too. I imagine the policy saves time and hassle since it eliminates any judgment calls on the part of the vendors. If it applies equally to everyone, then no one can complain about getting "bad" treatment.

                                      On the original topic, it was stupid, stupid behavior by the store. They clearly make judgment calls all the time, so singling you out was unfair. Why are you still shopping there? If it were me, I wouldn't shop there no matter how good the sales were on tequila!

                                        1. re: invinotheresverde

                                          Because they pissed off a regular customer? Because they were enforcing the rules arbitrarily (both before and after the incident the poster said she purchased alcohol without being carded, and in this case she wasn't even the person buying the alcohol!).

                                          1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                            "Because they pissed off a regular customer?"
                                            Are you implying the customer is always right? Surely you can't truly believe that.

                                            "Because they were enforcing the rules arbitrarily...".
                                            Are you telling me you can look at 100 people and tell me exactly how old each of them is? Of course you can't. No one can. Carding will ALWAYS be arbitrary. No one's rights are being infringed upon- no one forced the OP to go buy booze. There is always a chance you will be carded when buying alcohol.

                                            "...she wasn't even the person buying the alcohol!".
                                            Not directly, but she was there. My state says both parties must be carded, and has said that for at least 13 years, which is when I worked at a liquor store.

                                        2. re: Ruth Lafler

                                          Seems like pretty responsible and logical behavior to me. There was a person in their store who did not have ID so they didn't sell their party alcohol. It's cut and dry.

                                          1. re: jpc8015

                                            It's not "cut and dry" if they don't do that to every customer in every party every time, which according to the original poster they didn't. Unless they have some reason to believe the person with legal ID is buying the alcohol for the person without the ID who appears to be underage, they should sell him the damn booze! In this case, their behavior was purely arbitrary, since it relies on (1) the clerk's judgment call on whether people are in the same party, and (2) the clerk's judgment call that the person without ID was underage and required carding in the first place.

                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                              Right, but it's always purely arbitrary. You never know someone's age for certain until you ask and view the ID. You never know for certain if someone is buying alcohol for someone else until you have sold it and they give to a minor and you get fined.

                                              The OP doesn't mention if it was the same clerk both times. What appears to be suspicious to me might not to you and vice versa. Also, many places train clerks, bartenders, waiters, etc about situations just like this. Two people come in, one has an ID, one doesn't, the person without looks borderline of age, looks suspicious. It is always better to be careful than be fined or lose your license.

                                              The only way it is not arbitrary is when there is in a policy in place that says we card everyone. That would clearly annoy a lot of people as well (as evidenced in this thread).

                                              1. re: pollymerase

                                                I have a problem with a law that is so stupid that it says if the underage person remains in the car (or down the block where I dropped them off or left them back at the apartment around the corner from the liquor store) and then I (the of age person) can buy all the booze I want and then take it out to the car and set it down on the seat between us, or pick back up my underage friend on the corner or get back to the apartment where the underage person is waiting where the clerk can't see what's happening and then who knows what happens next.

                                                This is why people will flaunt a law. When it makes no sense what so ever then the vast majority of citizens will pay no attention to it. Bad law makes for bad adherence.

                                                1. re: Servorg

                                                  Yup. Similarly, I have trouble with a law that would allow a clerk to refuse to sell me a bottle of wine if I stopped and talked for a few minutes to a young acquaintance in the store --even after that person left the store -- because that person appeared to be with me.

                                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                    Well maybe they should just sell liquor to everybody who promises to be of a proper age.

                                                2. re: pollymerase

                                                  Relying on someone's perception of what's "suspicious" is what causes a lot of racial discrimination, consciously or unconsciously.

                                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                    I'm confused how this topic moved to racial discrimination?

                                                    1. re: pollymerase

                                                      Perhaps it's a tangent we don't want to go of on, but it's not confusing.

                                                      There's lots, of all types of discrimination based on unfounded suspicion (and paranoia). This topic is about discriminating, distrust, fear, poor judgment, uneven laws and dumb rules of retailers, about alcohol. You can substitute the word race for alcohol and the same issues apply.

                                                      1. re: Scargod

                                                        You probably think everything boils down to race. This clearly does not!

                                                        Person goes into liquor store, person does not have ID, persons party does not receive liquor. The End.

                                                        1. re: jpc8015

                                                          No, I don't. To say, "the end", "end of story", "cut 'n dried", etc., just shows me you are closed-minded.
                                                          Or, you may mean that you are uninterested in listening to or discussing this vein of the thread, which is your right.

                                                          This is not a black and white issue, regarding alcohol sales, as we can see by how laws and rules are applied.

                                                          1. re: Scargod

                                                            Correct, being able to determine someone's age simply by looking at them is not cut and dried, hence the need to ask for ID, and hence the need to not provide alcohol to someone who can not prove their age.

                                                            1. re: pollymerase

                                                              The idiocy comes with the refusal to sell alcohol to someone with legal ID who is of age to buy and consume the alcohol if they happen to be in the company of someone who is not.

                                                              As I pointed out elsewhere in this thread, if you leave them (the underage companion) in the car or on the corner or back at your house/motel room then you can buy all the alcohol legally you want. The state is trying to tell me that they are "mind readers" and can know that I plan on giving alcohol to a minor if I buy that alcohol while simply in the company of that minor.

                                                              If I were the type of person to give alcohol to minors it is a simple matter of keeping the minor out of sight while purchasing the alcohol. This is a stupid corollary to the law which restricts alcohol sales by age that does nothing but make many people disrespect this law and those that enforce it specifically, and the law makers generally.

                                                              1. re: pollymerase

                                                                How about the carny guys who could usually guess your age within a year, not years?

                                                            2. re: jpc8015

                                                              Nope. Not cut and dried. Person A, age 27, goes into liquor store, is not carded, buys alcohol. Person B, age 27, goes into liquor store, looks "suspicious" to clerk, is carded, companion is carded. Even if they sell the alcohol to Person B, he's still being treated differently, as a person who is inherently more suspicious and less trustworthy than Person A. If everywhere you went you were treated with suspicion, it would affect your quality of life in all kinds of ways, even if you were never overtly denied service. That's where racism comes in. To many people, maybe even most people, a person of a different race is "different" and thus is examined with more scrutiny and with more scrutiny, is more likely to be found to be "suspicious" in some way.

                                                              Or, since you seem to object to the idea that race plays a factor in how people treat each other, then let's look at the example above with Person A being a woman and Person Be being a man. After all, we all know that men drink more than women, that men are more likely to commit crimes in which alcohol is a factor. So maybe all men should be treated with more suspicion and carded more frequently than a woman the same age. Is that fair? Would you think it was just fine and dandy if the clerk in the liquor store was giving you a tough time about your ID -- checking it to see if it was fake, etc. -- and the woman about your age at the register next to you made her purchase without being carded? You sound like a typical entitled white male -- you'd probably throw a fit.

                                                              "Well maybe they should just sell liquor to everybody who promises to be of a proper age." -- While I don't think they should be selling liquor to 12-year-olds, it's pretty silly that a 12-year-old can buy drugs just about anywhere but an 18-year-old can't buy a beer. Promoting abstinence and legal prohibitions don't work to control people's behavior as has been amply proven over the years. Education and strict consequences for behavior that affects public safety (i.e. drunk driving) are much more effective.

                                                              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                " Person B, age 27, goes into liquor store, looks "suspicious" to clerk, is carded, companion is carded. Even if they sell the alcohol to Person B, he's still being treated differently, as a person who is inherently more suspicious and less trustworthy than Person A."

                                                                Um, what if Person B just looks younger than Person A?

                                                                My best friend is 35 and I'm 30. She gets carded all the time, while I don't. She is as clean-cut and preppy /yuppy looking as can be. Is she being carded because she looks "suspicious" or because she's a woman or because she's white? No- she just looks young. If anything, I'm jealous.

                                                                Not everything is a big conspiracy. Some people look their age and some don't. That's why they get carded. Why is this such a big deal?

                                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                  The bottom line here is still the fact that someone was asked to produce ID and they couldn't do it. The ONLY reasonable thng to do at that point is to refuse to sell liquor to their party. Given the fact that one in the party went back into the store and lied to the clerk by telling them that the other in the party had gone away just shows that these people are shady and willing to lie and cheat in order to get liquor. I applaud the store for maintaining their standards and not giving in to the deceptive tactics being used in this case.

                                                                  This idea of fairness is patently absurd. Is it fair that people hold liquor stores and bars responsible when someone is involved in an alcohol related accident? Is it fair that the store slerk can be fined hundreds of dollars and be held liabel in a civil court if someone gets hurt because a person they sold alcohol to was irresponsible? It appears that this liquor store was looking out for the well being of the store and the OP's petty little issue is really small in comparison.

                                                                  1. re: jpc8015

                                                                    Nope. He didn't lie -- she'd really gone home. So, you're wrong.

                                                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                      Well maybe we should just start serving alcohol to everyone who asks for it then. Who cares if they are of proper age. Would that be good with you? What if someone is falling down drunk and asks for another drink in a bar? Should we just give it to them? What if a child walks into a liquor store and swears that the liquor is for a friend who is of age. Maybe we should just sell it to them.

                                                                      Your hippy loving idea of fairness is just doesn't cut it in the real world.

                                                                      Plus, the original poster said that they decided she would wait outside while he went back inside, while inside he told the store clerk that she had gone home. HE LIED. He attempted to use deceptive tactics to gain access to alcohol.

                                                                  2. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                    "it's pretty silly that a 12-year-old can buy drugs just about anywhere but an 18-year-old can't buy a beer."

                                                                    Just had to comment on this one. It's not as though a 12 year old (or anyone) can simply waltz into a corner store and buy some crack easy as pie, with no potential repercussion whatsoever. The sale and purchase of drugs is still illegal around here, while the sale and purchase of alcohol is still legal, but regulated. Comparing the two is a little like apples and oranges. And there are, for the most part, far greater repercussions for purchasing illegal drugs than there are for an underaged person buying or consuming alcohol, while neither are legal.

                                                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                      "While I don't think they should be selling liquor to 12-year-olds, it's pretty silly that a 12-year-old can buy drugs just about anywhere but an 18-year-old can't buy a beer"

                                                                      an 18 can buy beer exactly the same way a 12 year old can buy drugs. illegally.

                                                                      what is ridiculous is that an 18 yr old can't buy drugs, as if s/he were a 12 year old.

                                                                      1. re: thew

                                                                        Thew: come on! Ruth's point is one that was recently brought home to me, when my elder daughter moved from her nearby Catholic elementary school, to a public high school located in the city of Toronto. She hadn't been in school SIX WEEKS before she was being offered marijuana, mushrooms, meth, etc. I'm blessed that she's smart enough to say "No", and that we have a good enough relationship that she actually tells me what's going on. Stupid, obtuse, and restrictive laws about alcohol and drugs just bring on more disrespect for the entire system, and encourage abuse at all levels. Mods kill now.

                                                                        1. re: KevinB

                                                                          i understood ruth's point

                                                                          but i don't think marijuana is more harmful than beer, and i don't think a 12 yr old should buy either

                                                                          but to claim an 18 yr old cant buy beer when a 12 yr old can buy drugs is utter nonsense. beer is easier to come by. period. and if a 12 yr old illegally getting drugs is considered easy, despite illegality, than an 18 yr olds getting beer is equally, if not more easy, and just as illegal.

                                                                          and i agree about stupid restrictive laws. but i would say the laws about non-alcohol drugs are just as stupid, just as obtuse, and create just as much disrespect for the system as stupid laws about alcoholic drugs

                                          2. I think it is a legal requirement in many states that, once having carded you, they can't sell to you for a certain period of time (24 hours sounds right) if the conditions of the 'carding' aren't meant.

                                            I am guessing you don't look that old, since the gentleman referred to you as a young lady. As others have said, I think you would have looked at this incident differently if you looked or felt older...

                                            but I had to chuckle, because it reminds me of a carding story from my past: years ago (I was in my mid-thirties at the time) my then husband and I were living in a very hot area, and we had just gotten back from a camping trip, and just really wanted a cold beer to celebrate the close of a fun weekend. Alas, the fridge was empty, and I was elected to go out on the beer run. However, as I was walking out the door I realized that I had no cash, but husband had a lot, so I put down my wallet and grabbed his without thinking.

                                            Sure enough, get the mini-mart, pick out a six pack, and am carded for the first time in years! My pleas that I had left my wallet at home and did the clerk really think I looked young enough to possibly be under 21 fell on deaf ears (and in retrospect, rightfully so: as I say, once they card you it is the law that they must follow through).

                                            But it was hotter than hell, and I just wanted a beer, and I wasn't thinking straight. Finally, in desperation and frustration, I pulled out my husband's driver license: husband was about six years older than me, so in his forties, and almost totally bald. I held up the license and fumed, "This is my husband, do I REALLY look like I'd be married to someone that old if I wasn't over 21."

                                            Not surprisingly, that ploy didn't work either. :-)

                                            I went home empty handed and told hubby I was done with the mini-mart and if he wanted beer he'd have to go get it himself. He did, but had the good sense to go to another store other than the one I'd chosen.....

                                            Believe me, it was maddening at the time, but it was also one of the last times in my life I was carded (I don't count places where everyone is carded regardless of age), and looking back I remember the mini-mart in question much more fondly than I did at the time... :-)

                                            13 Replies
                                            1. re: susancinsf

                                              That's a hilarious story - thanks for sharing!

                                              1. re: susancinsf

                                                I can see how you might have been frustrated. Is it possible that the store had just been "raided" or checked by someone & the clerk was being hypercareful (or being watched)? If they had gotten caught selling to you without ID, their store could have been closed, or the clerk could have lost his/her job. That was odd about leting you sample in the store, though. Just chalk it up to experience and make sure you have ID next time. Hey, I'm in my 60's, and I'm WAITING for someone to card me!

                                                1. re: susancinsf

                                                  OK, here's my funny carding story:

                                                  Many years ago, I went to Santa Clara to take a company course (I'm from Canada). I had just tried bourbon recently, and in Toronto at the time, the only brands available were Jack, Jim, and "Old Crow". So, on my first weekend, I pulled into a package store, and was surprised to see so many varieties available. I put together a grab bag of Maker's Mark, George Dickel, Early Times, and of course, Wild Turkey. I was 29 at the time, so I was quite handily over California's 21 limit, but I've been blessed with a baby face, so I guess I looked young.

                                                  The clerk - who had to be at least 6 or 7 years younger than me - asked me for ID. Although I had my passport, I decided to have some fun. I pulled out my Quebec birth certificate, which (at the time) was printed solely in French. The clerk looks at it, turns it sideways, looks at it some more, and finally says "Hey, this is in French!". "Of course", I reply "I'm from Canada - everyone speaks French there". (note: actually, not!) The clerk looks at it some more, still nonplussed, and then says "There's no picture on it." Now, sounding annoyed, I reply "OF COURSE. I'm from Canada; everyone knows everybody else there." Clerk looks at me, says "Oh.. yeah", and wraps up the purchase.

                                                  1. re: KevinB

                                                    Hilarious! Love the everyone knows everybody else line!

                                                    1. re: KevinB

                                                      lol Kevin, sounds like an episode of Rick Mercer's "talking to americans"

                                                      1. re: KevinB

                                                        That should be a scene in a Jim Carey film!

                                                        Now, being from Mississippi, most of our birth cerrificates do have a photo. It's often taken when we're about 25, or the same time that we graduate from the third grade.


                                                        1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                          See now.... This is why I love this bar..... Very good, Bill!

                                                          1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                            Thanks, Bill, for keeping the sterotype of the uneducated, redneck Mississippian alive.

                                                            1. re: Sister Sue

                                                              Almost everyone, who I know, think that I do a very good job. They tell me that Jeff Foxworthy has nothing on me. Now, if my wife would just let me move the wine 'fridge to the front porch!

                                                              Now, she will not allow me to make any jokes about folk from New Orleans, since I did not grow up there. Picky, picky.


                                                        2. re: susancinsf

                                                          Yesterday I landed in Las Vegas shortly after midnight after a long weekend eating and playing with you in SF...and all I wanted was a cup of coffee so I could face the drive home (I had left my car at the airport so DH wouldn't have to pick me up so late...). Now, Vegas may be a 24 hour town, but the airport sure isn't...the only place open at 12:15 am was a single bar....all of the restaurants and stores were shut tight. I walked in and gratefully asked for a cup of coffee to go. I was carded. For coffee. The bartender apologized and explained to me that the airport policy was that no one under 21 could enter....period. So everyone who purchased anything (even to go) HAD to be ID'd....regardless of age (BTW, for those who don't know me I'm over 50, ok?) I wondered what would have happened if a child had been with me...would they have let the child stand by the open glass door while I rushed in to get my coffee? The only two people at the bar were both men well into their sixties or possibly older..and they confirmed that they too had been carded as they entered......

                                                          As for being carded, my favorite time was when I went on a road trip to Elko with some female friends for a meeting. My friend was in her 60s, and she and I got into line to buy wine for the hotel room later. I was carded...and then she asked the guy "Aren't you going to card me?" He didn't....much to her disappointment...:-)

                                                          1. re: janetofreno

                                                            yikes, janet...carded for coffee. what is the world coming to? Cay

                                                            1. re: cayjohan

                                                              My wife went to a grocery store here in Orange County to go buy ice cream. Her mom had asked her to get some matches, which she did (you have to go to a counter to get cigarettes, and there were matches in a jar on the counter free, so she took a pack). She got asked for ID and was staring at the cashier like she's just announced she was leaving for Neptune.

                                                              "Do I really need ID for... um... peanut butter cup ice cream?"

                                                              Turns out that even though the matches were essentially uncontrolled (meaning that you could take them, though you have to approach an ID-controlling counter to do so and most people get them only with cigarettes), if the cashier saw them she had to ID for them.


                                                            2. re: janetofreno

                                                              Sad but true about the airport here, Janet, especially with all the international flights coming in at all hours. BTW, in Las Vegas, you are not allowed to bring your children into the liquor all. Big signs saying "No Babies, No Children."