HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >


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 not....do 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 you....it 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 (um....do 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 (um....do 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 offensive.......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 now....you 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 store....at all. Big signs saying "No Babies, No Children."

                                                          2. I live in a state with pretty strict liquor laws, all stores are run by the state and all prices are standard throughout the state, so no sales and definitely no samples. I used to go into the ABC store with my mom if she had to pick something up while we were out running errands. This was fine until I turned 16. If you're under 16 you can enter the store with an adult (can't make purchases, of course) but once you turn 16 you can't enter the store until you're 21 (technically aren't even supposed to be in the parking lot). If there are any suspicions TPTB will most certainly ask for ID from everyone in the party and refuse service to all if anyone can't prove their age.

                                                            One of the major grocery chains in my area has a similar ID policy for beer and wine. If several people are in line together they will card everyone in the party and refuse the sale if anyone is underage, even if they aren't the individual making the purchase. If someone in the party is without ID, and you re-attempt the purchase while the non-ID person waits outside, the store will still refuse the sale. The easy way around this is to split up before you get to the check out (which I did many times in college), they rarely track multiple people before check out.

                                                            Edit: Despite only being 26, I rarely get carded (in fact, occasionally bought alcohol without ID before I was 21), except at a few local bars that routinely get busted for serving under age students (oh the joys of living in a college town, watching drunk 18 years being arrested on the first Friday of the semester...). Last weekend I was running errands and stopped at Target to pick up a few things for my mom to help get ready for Christmas dinner, including a pack of Christmas crackers (the paper crown kind, not the edible kind). While checking out the cashier asked for ID, I automatically handed it to her, it took me a minute to process that I wasn't buying any alcohol, then another few to realze that she was carding me for the crackers. Since they contain a tiny amount of gun powder, they are classified as fireworks, and you have to be 18 to buy them here. I still can't figure out which is more amazing, that ID is required to buy paper crowns or that the cashier thought I looked young enough to be possibly under 18.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: mpjmph

                                                              At least the policy above makes some kind of sense (under 16 you can be in there with an adult); the laws that forbid kids from even being in the store seem pretty strange to me; what of a mom with her baby in a sling on her chest; she can't buy a bottle of wine for dinner? Here in New York I've never seen anything like some of these rules. I take my kids (tweens and young teens) into stores from time to time when I'm out doing errands and want to get some wine.

                                                            2. I agree, it sounds like they either very recently had gotten into some kind of trouble and had gotten a warning, or possibly someone was watching them who was some kind of official, either inside the store as a pretend customer or even in the back - liquor control board is above nothing, they would totally do that. That's why when you returned another time, they weren't as strict.

                                                              1. Melanie, some years ago as the mom & pop guests at a fraternity 100th birthday celebration, I went to the bar to buy myself a drink. Without looking up, the bartender asked for ID. I was in my 40s at the time and had long since stopped carrying ID for drinks. "Look at me" was my response. "Sorry" replied the bartender, "my instructions are to card everyone". One of the (underage) frat boys bought my martini with his fake ID since the bartender would not budge on his position of "No ID, no drink".

                                                                Just for the record, and before anyone gets their knickers in a twist, the fraternity mandated travel by chartered bus to all functions where alcohol was available. No one drove an automobile, even parents were required to ride.

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: Sherri

                                                                  Hi Sherri,

                                                                  Thanks for the response. However, I have to respectfully disagree that being with someone who is purchasing alcohol is the same as a person ordering a drink in a bar.

                                                                  In your situation, you were clearly planning to drink and he could not let you do that without an ID. In my situation, not only was alcohol not being drunk (drank?), but it wasn't even being opened, nor was I the one purchasing or carrying the alcohol.

                                                                  My issue isn't with the law (no underage drinking), it is with the law with which the law is carried out. (say THAT three times fast!)

                                                                  1. re: Melanie

                                                                    Agree with you 100% Melanie. I only told the story because it makes me smile when I remember it.

                                                                    The problem with writing laws is that, no matter how carefully crafted, there will always be some situation that is poorly covered. Where to draw the line re: age is one of those examples. As a 10 year old child, I wanted to buy my father a birthday gift. He smoked terribly expensive cigars so that would be the perfect gift, I reasoned. I could ony afford one of these horrid-smelling things, but it was a gift of love - it cost several weeks of allowance. The store clerk refused to sell it to me citing the tobacco age law in California. Even at that tender age, I argued saying "if I was going to smoke, I couldn't afford these expensive things" but he refused to budge. A kind man who was shopping bought it for me and we made the (illegal?) exchange in the parking lot.

                                                                    Now I know this is not the same as accompanying someone who is making the purchase but I tell you only to cite yet another example of the stupidity of arbitrary laws. We drive a SUV and, when taking a long roadtrip, there is almost certainly an open bottle of liquor in our luggage -- hotel room happy hours, etc. Are we breaking the law? Probably in some states. Am I willing to take the risk of explaining to a police officer the improbility of my climbing over a couple of rows of seats to gain highly unlikely access to this bottle? Yep.

                                                                    I live in AZ which has absolutely draconian liquor laws. Either my husband or I will have a drink when we're out but not both of us together. The smallest percentage of alcohol is cause for arrest. .002 is not unheard of here and "impaired" can mean almost anything from touching the traffic lane line to a wide turn. Spending time in Sheriff Joe Arpiao's Tent City is not on my "To-Do" list.

                                                                2. In Indiana, people under 21 are not allowed inside liquor stores, period. Whenever I go to one with one of my 20-something kids, the kid is carded the moment we step inside, and carded again when I make a purchase. And they don't just card, they ask several questions, such as: "How old will you be next year?" "What year did you graduate from high school?" etc., to see if you're using a fake ID.

                                                                  10 Replies
                                                                  1. re: pikawicca

                                                                    Indiana does seem to have some pretty strict rules; I was there with some friends and we needed to wait for our table in the bar area; it was a "no-kids" zone by prominent signage, and apparently had to be physically separated from the area that kids were allowed to be in (the main restaurant).

                                                                    1. re: DGresh

                                                                      I had a similar experience when I was in grad school in Indiana - I had a bunch of family in town for a football game, including my then 20-year-old cousin. We had to wait for a table, and really the only place there was room for all of us was the bar. She wasn't allowed to cross the threshold into the bar, so she stood just outside looking like a sad puppy. :)

                                                                      There are some very odd laws in that state...beer, wine, and hard liquor are sold in grocery and drug stores, but the aisle is barricaded on Sundays and Election Day. Took me forever before I could regularly remember to buy my Sunday dinner wine on Saturday.

                                                                      Then there was the time when my older brother was visiting some family in Wisconsin. He was around 23, and decided to pick up some beer. He was asked for ID, and produced it, but the cashier didn't like the looks of his out of state license (because apparently people from Virginia never go to Wisconsin) and refused to sell him the beer. My grandmother, who was with him, said, "aw, hell, *I* know he's over 21" and bought it for him. Oddly enough, the cashier didn't give her any flak, and the rest of us still get to tease him about the time he had to get Grandma to buy him beer. :)

                                                                      Back to the OP, stuff like this is what happens when we place more value on litigation than on personal responsibility. As soon as someone purchases alcohol, if it ends up in the hands of a minor, responsibility for it falls on the individual that made the purchase, NOT the store that sold it. Unfortunately, if something happens, it's far more lucrative to sue the store than to sue the individual, and thus, the rest of us get saddled with asinine, erratically-enforced policies. I'm 31, and just starting to get used to not getting carded every single time I purchase alcohol. For some reason, I'm far more likely to get carded when I'm out with my parents than when I'm with my friends. This makes no sense to me, but at least it makes my mother feel young, and me STILL feel like I'm 7 when I go to the liquor store with my dad.

                                                                      1. re: Wahooty

                                                                        We came to IU for jut 1 more degree, 18 mos tops.....in 1981. When we got here we were renting a married student apt. It was July, it was hot, the place was filthy, and it was Sat. evening. We had some scotch with us, not a lot but some. My thought was lets go pick up some fried chicken, we'll make the bed finish the scotch and tomorrow we'll get a 6ack and clean this place up. Next day, after 12:00 noon off we go to the grocery, hmmm no cold beer, no beer cooler. Oh well, I pick up a warm six pack and finish my grocery shopping. I get to the cashier and she says "you can't buy that" I respond that I am over 21, actually was about 31 at the time, she says "i don't care how old you are you can't buy that today". I was ready to go back to northern NY at that moment. We're still here and not much has changed. Oh, 1 thing has, this year it was legal to buy alcohol on New Year's day. That law was just passed in November.

                                                                        1. re: Candy

                                                                          Baby steps... :) Is the election day law still in effect? That was always my favorite one. That, and the shelves lined with mini-bottles in bars in SC are always my textbook examples when explaining to people in more progressive locales that they don't know from oddball liquor laws. Oh, and the fact that Jack Daniels is in a dry county. That never fails to crack up Canadians.

                                                                          1. re: Wahooty

                                                                            Yes, the election day law is still in effect. You can buy wine on Sundays from wineries. I forgot about that one when DH and I were leaving the library one day and a young couple stopped us and asked what was the fastest way to the state line. When we asked why they told us that they were invited to dinner and wanted to bring a bottle of wine. About a week later I gave myself a dope slap for forgetting about Sunday winery sales.

                                                                            1. re: Candy

                                                                              Of course, no one would want to actually drink the wine purchased at one of our local wineries.

                                                                              1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                Sooooooooooooo Right but the Oliver Ice Wine is pretty good. I was pleasantly surprised. It is an excellent dessert wine. Not Canadian but much better than I anticipated.

                                                                            2. re: Wahooty

                                                                              I think that the mini-bottles have gone the way of the dodo, but they have to use metered dispensers on regular-size liquor bottles, so the effect is much the same. (I haven't been recently but was told by friends who have a summer home near Charleston.)

                                                                              1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                The Daily Show did a segment on the mini-bottles right before the law changed. Not their funniest, but pretty good...


                                                                                1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                  but now free pours are all the rage in sc

                                                                      2. I am the friend with the Trader Joe situation :) I was purchasing a bottle of wine at the TJ near Union Sq in Manhattan, which is near NYU, so I understand the strict ID policy and always have ID when I go there. However, I was outraged when I could not make my purchase because my friend did not have her wallet. She wasn't even standing at the register - she was several feet back waiting for me to wrap up my purchase. The guy at the check out was extremely rude when I tried to ask for clarification. I was tempted to return in an hour with a disguise!

                                                                        What really pissed me off was the interpretation of the law. What constitutes people as "being together"? What if I run into someone I know in the liquor store? What if I am friendly and strike up a conversation with people in line? Am I responsible for everyone else in the store? Or what if I had a teenage kid? It seemed to me that denying my purchase because my friend, standing near the door, did not have ID, was overstepping the intent of the law. How could they prove we were "together"? Silly.

                                                                        And to echo what others have said here, if I really wanted to buy a bottle of wine for someone underage, wouldn't I be a little more sneaky about it? C'mon.

                                                                        My two cents :)

                                                                        1. Sorry to hear about your hassle. Retailers' rules don't always make sense, and the owners of the stores certainly don't encourage their minimum-wage employees to make judgment calls that could cost the store its liquor license.

                                                                          My favorite example of this was at a convenience store where the employees had been instructed to card everybody. The guy in front of me in line didn't have his driver's license, but he had his AARP card. He must have been in his 70s or 80s. The clerk still wouldn't sell him beer.

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                            Fenway Park has a rule of carding everyone, old people, young people, elderly people, famous people. Its their rule. Depending on the laws in your area, the store could lose their license for not IDing everyone in the party, and therefore be out of a lot of revenue, so I understand. Liquor laws are weird all over ( it wasnt long ago here you couldnt buy any liquor on a sunday). At my office holiday party recently, I was the only one out of a group of 20 that was carded. I was overjoyed. My advice, become friends with the owner of your local liquor store in case you forget your ID again and until then, keep drinking margaritas. Perhaps its the tequila that keeps you looking so young- a fountain of youth. : )

                                                                            1. re: cassoulady

                                                                              True. Last time I went to Fenway with my dad he got carded. He got a good chuckle of it since he's 81. He then asked for a senior citizen discount.

                                                                          2. Gee, I don't feel so bad about the messed-up liquor laws of Kansas anymore. Sure, you have to go into a liquor store for anything stronger than 3.2% beer, and liquors stores can't sell anything BUT liquor, wine, and beer, but things have been strict so long that I never set foot in a store without an ID, even though I'm visibly well over 21 (last time I got carded was buying 3.2% beer in a grocery store when I was 28). In fact, I don't go ANYWHERE without ID, because you never know who's going to demand to see some idnetification in the current climate. And even though I have two daughters, I wouldn't take them into a liquor store while they're underage, especially since our stores are clearly labeled "No admittance to anyone under 21 years of age" -- even though I see other people take their kids in with them.
                                                                            I never set foot in a liquor store until the day I turned 21, and then they didn't even card me...so I demanded that they check my ID. I felt I had EARNED the right on that day.
                                                                            I guess it's a learning point for the next time when you go to make a purchase -- everyone carry a valid ID or stay out of the store.

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: podunkboy

                                                                              "In fact, I don't go ANYWHERE without ID, because you never know who's going to demand to see some idnetification in the current climate."

                                                                              As a kid in Canada, I always thought the chilliest line in any Cold War movie was "Papers. May we see your papers?" Freedom, to me, was the freedom to be in public without having to justify yourself. I understand you need to prove who you are and how old you are to buy certain things, but just to be in a public place? What have we lost?

                                                                              1. re: KevinB

                                                                                This is getting off topic, but oh well... I completely get what you're saying about the "may we see your papers" feeling, on the other hand I always carry ID b/c I want people to know who I am in case of an emergency (and also have at least a starting point for the process of contacting those that need to be contacted).

                                                                            2. Sounds like a hassle, but state liquor laws can come with hefty fines and penalties for selling to minors or to adults who are buying for minors. A store near me was shut down for a week for a violation recently.

                                                                              Someday, eventually, and sooner than you expect, you will stop getting carded. And you will look back wistfully upon the golden days of your youth, before wrinkles, gray hair, and/or no hair made it no longer necessary to bring you ID with you to the liquor store. Until then, it's a necessary burden.


                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                              1. re: taos

                                                                                I was carded last year at O'Hare. I'm 59, and no, I haven't had "a lot of work done." This bar cards everyone. Kind of nuts, but it does keep things simple and consistent. It also provided a great deal of amusement for the young man sitting next to me at the bar.

                                                                                1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                  Makes my day when I get carded and I'm waaaaaay over 21. It's always at a card-everyone place or a visually-impaired bartender.

                                                                                  1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                    pika, buddy (or buddy - ette for those of us coming back from the gender ID thread), I'm turning 59 in a couple of weeks. I was carded when in the US into my 40s. Wish they would still seriously card me.

                                                                                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                      It's "ette," Sam, and all you need do is have a layover at O'Hare and order a brew.

                                                                                      1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                        Honey, you knew that I knew that!

                                                                                    2. re: pikawicca

                                                                                      Two days ago, same thing for me. The bar is crowded, so I squeeze in next to this cute, young thing. The bartender, who was not much younger than me (I'm a youthful 62), asks for my ID. The highly intoxicated cute thing started laughing and went on and on about how I was being carded and how stupid it was. The bartender hopefully stopped serving her... I got carded and then, without question, he gave me my two, different drinks. He did not require that I produce an ID for SO's drink!

                                                                                  2. I work in a bar, and in my state the fine for serving a minor is much heftier for the server than for the establishment. When one mistake can cost a months salary and possibly your job, being overly cautious shouldn't be faulted. Even though the rules may be enforced inconsistently, this is due to different staff members sense of risk. Please blame your state government and not the cashier.

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: corneygirl

                                                                                      You say it is illegal to serve a minor, but must you (are you required by law, in your state), to ask for an ID? Some have suggested that some employees manning a register are not smart enough to tell when someone is underage, so they take that responsibility away from them. Do you have a choice and do you exercise it?

                                                                                      1. re: Scargod

                                                                                        At my establishment I have a choice. I am fortunate to have an employer who understands that we have a brain, however we have never been charged with serving a minor. Other establishments have had problems and card everyone. Personally if there is the slightest doubt in my mind if someone is legal I ask for ID. The job isn't worth the risk and 98% of people understand that it isn't personal. I don't like the laws, but I have to enforce them.

                                                                                    2. Another one for the interesting alcohol policy list... In NC, drivers license photos have a red background for under 18, yellow for under 21 and green for 21+. I had an 18 month period b/t turning 21 and renewing my license, no way I was going to shell out $20 to get the green background right away just to pay another $20 at renewal time, so I was using the yellow background ID for some time. Most places (grocery stores, bars, ABC stores) had no problem, simple math, especially since my b-day is in December. Then I went to a wine warehouse store. When I went to check out and showed my ID, the cashier handed me a form to fill out. I asked what I was signing, she said it was an statement that I was over 21. They require it of all customer who are using an ID with a yellow background, even though the birth date clearly indicates you're of legal age. The intent is to keep people who have just turned 21 and got their green ID from giving/selling the old yellow one to underage friends. Seems silly to me, if you're using a "fake" ID to buy wine, are you going to have any problem lying on the form?

                                                                                      For those who wonder about the strict no expired ID rules in some states, it is also an attempt to prevent the exchange and use of old IDs instead of fake ones.

                                                                                      1. The person behind the counter making $6 per/hour is pissed off and wants to make as many people miserable as possible.

                                                                                        I m 40 and had some similar experience in Delaware last summer.

                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: baldwinwood

                                                                                          You know, I dated a guy in college who worked at his parents' liquor store. It has nothing to do with making people pissed off. They can get into serious trouble if they don't card.

                                                                                          I'm close to your age and still get carded quite often. I know in certain states, they will card you if you look under 40, and there will be signs stating that. So you can be 70 years old. But if you look under 40, they'll card you.

                                                                                          1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                            And to a 20 year old, a 40 year old probably looks 70.

                                                                                        2. I worked for a short time in a liquor store in upstate New York. First day, the owner explained the basic rules re: carding, including the carding of any companions. Then, he told me what could happen if I made a mistake. Sure, the store could be fined and its license suspended, etc. etc., but I would be fined thousands and walked out of the store in handcuffs. He said that had happened at the liquor store in the next town over a few months previously, not because they had deliberately and blantantly disregarded the law, but because they had made some perfectly understandable error during what turned out to be a sting (don't remember the story). Then he said I could turn away anyone, anytime and he'd back me up: it just wasn't worth the risk to me or him.

                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: optimal forager

                                                                                            Your last line sums it up: while it may be stupid, you personally as one person do not represent enough potential money to overcome the risk of bending the rules for you. That's what it boils down to -- and to the civil libertarians who squawk about how unfair it all is, remember that the business owner has the right to decide how to run his business.

                                                                                            If you don't like it, go to a different place to buy liquor and remember the companion-carding rule next time.

                                                                                            I used to work the door at a bar, and my rule was "when in doubt, keep them out". That meant that even if your license was valid, if it LOOKED fake, I was keeping it to turn in to the police during the nightly check and you weren't getting past me. If the police determined it was real, you could go to the police department to claim it back.

                                                                                            Certain places had weirder IDs than others (thank God for the ID books) -- Missouri in particular had paper licenses with no barcode or stripe on them until not that many years ago, and New Jersey didn't require photos on licenses until 2001 (the default was to get a photo, but you could be grandfathered in if you didn't have a photo and didn't want one). I refused to admit people with no photo (because let's face it, there are a LOT of blonde, blue-eyed girls who are 5'5" and 110 lbs., that's not sufficient to establish you as the holder of the ID), and if the edges were frayed at all (a sign of tampering) you didn't get in.

                                                                                            Drinking is not a right. It is not a freedom enshrined in the Constitution (even after Prohibition). You do have to apply policies consistently, however -- you can't do things like give a cute girl a drink with no ID and then card a guy the same age.

                                                                                            1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                              Drinking is not a constitutionally-protected right, but personal property is. Unless you're a cop or are acting on the orders of law enforcement or pursuant to an ordinance or statute, you have no right to confiscate anything that belongs to anybody else.

                                                                                              1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                True, but is a driver's license one's personal property or the property of the state? I think it's the property of the state. If a liquor establishment is granted a license by the state, is it also granted the right to confiscate suspicious IDs acting as a representative of the state? In fact, the establishment may not just have the right, it may have the obligation to do so.

                                                                                                1. re: taos

                                                                                                  Like I said, if the person doing the confiscating is a state actor (eg, a law enforcement officer), that's one thing. The same goes if the there's an ordinance or statute that authorizes a private person to take control of the property. But officious busybodies who just decide to hang onto an ID because they don't t like it are another matter entirely.

                                                                                                  Sounds like Das Ubergeek was acting within Iowa law by confiscating IDs. Whether it's a good law or not is a matter for the Iowa legislature to resolve.

                                                                                                  1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                    The discussion got a little nasty and appears to have been removed, so let me just add the clarification of my post above so that we don't start all over:

                                                                                                    Iowa Code 123.48 allows licensees (places that can sell alcohol, as well as lottery tickets, alcohol and controlled medicines) or their employees to confiscate IDs if there is reasonable cause to think they're fake, altered or belonging to someone else.

                                                                                                    The training is that if you suspect a bad ID, you ask for a second piece (for example, a college ID -- this was in a college town). If no second piece, you retain the ID and give it to the police when they make their rounds at closing time. If they produce a second piece, you ask them to sign a piece of paper and compare the three signatures and two photos. If it's OK, you tell them to go to the courthouse when the licensing bureau arrives for its weekly visit and pay the fee (then: $1 now: $3) to replace the license. If it's not OK (meaning, for example, someone has both the school ID and the state ID of someone else and it's really obvious it's not the same person) you hold both and turn both into the police. I don't know what the police did with the school IDs, I assume they sent them back to the school.

                                                                                                    Expired IDs (meaning more than a year past the expiry date, actually) were turned in to the police and not released by them (an expired ID is not valid for identification in Iowa).

                                                                                                    We didn't know for sure if the IDs we suspected as fake were actually fake until the report came back from the police. If the license was real you could go to the police station to get it back or wait for them to mail it to the address on the license (which is usually what happened with "borrowed" IDs).

                                                                                                    And, of course, because the art of being a good doorman is talking rather than hitting (don't forget, doormen aren't exempt from assault charges), we would usually just ask questions that, if the ID was real, would be answerable with no thought -- "How tall are you?" "What's your ZIP code?" "What year were you born?" "What street do you live on?"

                                                                                                    Finally, Iowa has an unusual twist in the liquor laws: you must be 21 to drink but you can enter bars at 19, which meant that we had double issues -- having to stamp underage people who COULD be there with one colour stamp (or with a same-colour stamp that didn't shine under blacklight) and having to stamp over-21s with a different colour stamp (or a same-colour stamp that shone under blacklight), and which prevented us from using the very handy license-orientation rules in Iowa (when you're 21 your license is landscape mode; before that it's portrait mode).

                                                                                                    1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                                      Geek! you pitched a fastball to the head on that first confiscate post, got it batted striaght back at you, you caught it and thew out the runner heading to second. You redeemed yourself and more. I thought it a good conversation.

                                                                                          2. OP, I worked in a very large liquor store when I was younger. Their policy was to card anyone who looked under 40, whether they were the purchaser or simply with the purchaser.

                                                                                            Carding policies vary from individual to individual. I may have carded people that my colleagues wouldn't have and vice versa. There will never be 100% accuracy with carding because guessing ages is difficult, and the clerks have to err on the side of caution.

                                                                                            It's the consumer's job to be responsible. You, as an adult, know full well there's always a chance you'll get carded when buying alcohol (especially when you may have been wearing "laundry day" clothes and are buying low-end tequila that's associated with minors). Simply, adults carry their ID in liquor stores. I would never have sold alcohol to you and your fiance.

                                                                                            If you were in your fifties, the clerk would've been pushing it, but you're probably in your twenties or thirties, right?

                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                              Well, then we'll have to agree to disagree, Invino. I think my fiance should have had the liquor sold to him. Of course I know full well that I might be carded when I'm buying alcohol. The fact of the matter was that I wasn't buying it nor carrying it, nor necessarily had anything to do with it. If their policy is such that everyone who is either purchasing or with someone who is purchasing alcohol, why wouldn't they simply have someone checking IDs as folks walk in?

                                                                                              Also, if you're putting yourself in the place of the store, would you have allowed me to DRINK alcohol in your store and then not allowed the person I was with to purchase alcohol with a valid ID? Can you see how that would add to my frustration?

                                                                                              On another note, I don't appreciate you speaking badly about Jose. How DARE you?

                                                                                              Lastly, you are correct - I am 26.

                                                                                              1. re: Melanie

                                                                                                I can see how you may be frustrated by this incident, especially since they allowed you to drink the alcohol in the store. But I can totally see how they refused to allow your fiance to purchase the alcohol. To the store's eyes, it appears (whether or not it's the case) that he was purchasing the item for you because you couldn't purchase it yourself. In Massachusetts, selling alcohol to somebody over 21 to give to a minor carries more severe penalties than if the minor purchased the alcohol him or herself.

                                                                                                1. re: Melanie

                                                                                                  The problem is that retailers in most states are on the hook for a lot more than they really have control over. If I buy liquor at your store and give it to someone, you're on the hook if the recipient is a minor. The usual line is that your responsibility ends at your property line (which can be difficult if, like most liquor stores, you are in a minimall or other shared space), but in some states (hello, Minnesota) you are required to deny the sale if you have reasonable expectation that the alcohol will be given to minors even if the minors are not present.

                                                                                                  I really do think it's stupid, but I think the stupidity lies with the law, not with the owner in this case. The alcohol control boards have devolved a little too much of the enforcement down to the retailers, and they're not known for being lenient.

                                                                                                  Also, I hate to say it, but invino's right -- certain liquors are known as "minor bait" -- Jose Cuervo is one of them, as is Popov and Smirnoff vodka, Natural Light or Jack Daniels beer, any of the "malt beverages" (Mad Dog 20/20, Colt .45, etc.), a 40 of anything, flavoured malt beverages (Two Dogs, Mike's Hard Lemonade, Jack Daniels mixed drinks, etc.) and any kind of pre-mixed liquor.

                                                                                                  Finally (sorry for the mulitple edits here) I agree -- if they're serving you liquor in the store (which is illegal in many places) then the whole entire argument about keeping minors from drinking falls down utterly.

                                                                                                  1. re: Melanie

                                                                                                    "If their policy is such that everyone who is either purchasing or with someone who is purchasing alcohol, why wouldn't they simply have someone checking IDs as folks walk in?"

                                                                                                    Most places don't do that because not everyone who comes in the store buys something alcoholic (or anything at all) and also it would be another position on payroll. Also, I wouldn't like another person being the one checking IDs when ultimately, it'd come down to my responsibility if the buyer was a minor and was caught. It's the cashier's ass on the line every time.

                                                                                                    "Also, if you're putting yourself in the place of the store, would you have allowed me to DRINK alcohol in your store and then not allowed the person I was with to purchase alcohol with a valid ID?"

                                                                                                    The people who hand out samples work for distributors, not the store. They're not known to be the most thorough ID checkers, since even if they accidentally give a minor a sample, the 0.25 ounce of booze isn't enough to impair someone.

                                                                                                    "On another note, I don't appreciate you speaking badly about Jose."

                                                                                                    Cuervo products are super popular with very young adults and minors who don't know enough to care about drinking 100% agave. Sorry, but it's true. Drink what you like, but it definitely has a certain notoriety. It's the Bud Light of tequila.

                                                                                                    "Lastly, you are correct - I am 26."

                                                                                                    As others posted, in a few years getting carded will thrill you and your fiance (how old is he, by the way?). It's an inconvenience now, but the store was in the right.

                                                                                                    Happy and safe New Year!

                                                                                                    1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                      This is very sad news about Jose, but I suppose you are right. Then again, aside from Patron, I haven't yet (I stress yet) tasted the delicacies of some of the finer tequilas in this world.

                                                                                                      Interesting point about the store samplers - the alcohol content is usually quite small. I hadn't though about that, but it was more of the principal of the thing.

                                                                                                      Oh, and my fiancee is 27 (as of yesterday), so it would make sense that he would be carded as well.

                                                                                                      Thank you to everyone for all of your posts. This is why I love the 'Not about food' board. It provides not only an education (about laws that vary from state to state, for example), but also a psychological study of the different opinions of so many excellent writers.

                                                                                                      Happy New Year to everyone!

                                                                                                2. Melanie, I think the clerk was just being a high and mighty b-buster. If they can allow you to drink in the store without IDing you, then you should have been able to buy alcohol. I'd find a new liquor store if I was you.

                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: MrsT

                                                                                                    And what would the clerk have to gain by that?

                                                                                                    As I stated above, the store has nothing to do with the sales reps from the destributors who hand out samples. They're not store employees.

                                                                                                    The store did exactly what they should have done.

                                                                                                    1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                      Did you ever stop to think that there may have been a camera at the check out counter? Common practice, recording to keep everything on the up-and-up if anything were ever to be called into question? If I'm a clerk, and I know there's a camera trained on my transactions, I'm ubercautious. I think the clerk was a little officious the second time your fiance came in (without you), but he's really just the messenger.

                                                                                                      1. re: PattiCakes

                                                                                                        Why are you responding to me? I agree with you.

                                                                                                        1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                          don't get testy. I clicked "reply" under the wrong entry.

                                                                                                  2. I have an annoying story, not really funny, just annoying. I'm in the military, and haven't been back to my home state in several years to renew my license. No big deal, CA has a rule that allows Active Duty military members to "postpone" their renewal so to speak. This has never been a problem while actually driving oddly enough, just while showing id for purposes of buying alcohol. When a server/cashier asks for ID, I give them my driver's license (which is expired), and on more than one occasion, they have refused to accept it b/c it's expired! I don't get it, the expiration date of my license doesn't magically make me 9 years younger? But I usually then just give them the little note from the CA DMV stating that the id still in effect and that has worked in most instances. There was one time that a server refused the license with the added documentation, so I begrudgingly gave her my military id as proof of my age. Then she tried to reject that too because she couldn't read it! (the birthday is on the back). That's when I about lost it and asked to speak to her manager. He was extremely apologetic and way more upset than I was (I believe he was a veteran), I'm pretty sure she got a quick education on acceptable ids!.

                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: mjhals

                                                                                                      A lot of places won't accept expired IDs because it is pretty common for newly minted 21 years old's (and other young adults at renewal time) to give/sell their old IDs to underage friends. If the ID you're using is expired, the first assumption is that it isn't really yours. I completely understand why a cashier, bouncer, wait person, or bartender would be hesitate when they see the expired ID, even with the DMV note (which would be reasonably easy to fake). Once you show your military ID though, it should be a no-brainer, it really isn't that hard to flip it over and see the date of birth and military IDs are considered acceptable ID for every ID-required situation I can think of.

                                                                                                      1. re: mpjmph

                                                                                                        Yep, I was ok with it until she tried to refuse the military id (although the expired id was very clearly my own, but ok, I'll cut her some slack for being a stickler, no problem). At that point I just felt like it was her personal mission not to bring me a drink.

                                                                                                        1. re: mpjmph

                                                                                                          Yeah, a friend of mine didn't drive and ONLY had her military ID (she was a military brat and lived on-base), and had the worst time trying to buy anything age-controlled. She was kinder than I -- the one time I witnessed it I suggested that perhaps the way for the cashier to figure out whether it was acceptable was for him to man up and head to boot camp.

                                                                                                      2. In California the law states that the licensed business can defend selling under your conditions if:
                                                                                                        -No sale or serving of alcoholic beverages was made to the minor.
                                                                                                        -The person sold or served is in fact twenty-one years of age or older.
                                                                                                        -If the documentation (ID) produced appeared to be legitimate and was examined in good faith.
                                                                                                        The code says those are defenses, but doesn't specifically state that individual circumstances might persuade authorities to cite the licensee anyway.

                                                                                                        Laws vary from state to state so I wouldn't guess at your local laws or, possibly more important, the zeal of the enforcement agency there or how they view the issue involved. On the surface it seems as if the store would have been legally OK to sell to your fiancee if the sale had occurred in California.

                                                                                                        There is also the possibility that the store policy comes from a desire to pro-actively help keep alcohol out of the hands of the underaged. It seems over-zealous but could be the case if it isn't something in reaction to legal authority or insurance carrier rules.

                                                                                                        I'd also ditto the comments about the law being very strict and literal. In California, a wine retailer that is also licensed to do on-premise wine tasting is prohibited from allowing ANYONE under 21 to physically occupy space within the license-permitted drinking area of the store. There is no specified age at which this must be enforced. Technically, a 6-month old baby is NOT allowed in that area. Government generally tends to set broad rules so as not to have to get into setting specific additional rules (ie- is a 10 year old OK but not a 16 year-old)??

                                                                                                        1. don't forget that it's the cashier's ass on the line, please, as well as the whole establishment's. whole careers can be affected by one underage-sales conviction. for example, when my former boss got nailed in a police sting, she faced huge legal fees for over two years and had to fight to be able to hold any job involving alcohol service (this is a bar manager in her thirties, being told she won't ever be able to work in the hospitality industry, in any capacity, *ever in her life* again, even just a simple job waiting tables at a fine dining restaurant, or working for a liquor distributor, or a grocer who sells liquor, or as a flight attendant, every job she'd had any experience in the last 20 years. . . you get the idea). for the establishment, an underage sting can result in loss/suspension of lq license and losing/hefty hike in insurance coverage. sorry, but entitled customers aren't worth the potential consequences. you're a grown-up, carry your id, duh. stupid things i've been carded for purchasing recently: spray paint, nicotine patches, video game, nyquil. none of those things, except the nyquil, was for me, incidentally.

                                                                                                          37 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: soupkitten

                                                                                                            I'm confused and may be moreso later. Though this will surely vary from state to state, what is involved in a "sting"? Does it mean they always send in someone who is under 21 to buy a drink? Do they ever send in someone that looks older, but is really underage?Does it mean that the impersonator can be over 21 but is just not asked to show an ID? Are there states and settings where you are required, by law (and not by choice), to ask for an ID?
                                                                                                            Mostly, what I've read here suggests that it is the licensee's policies that are in effect, not the City's, County's or State's.
                                                                                                            If you have free choice, and the stinger is over 21, then how would you get in trouble if you guess correctly and don't ask?

                                                                                                            1. re: Scargod

                                                                                                              In most states the liquor store has a responsibility to not sell alcohol to someone they believe is going to provide the alcohol to someone who is underage.

                                                                                                              It may seem like overkill to someone who doesn't have anything to lose in the situation but when you are a store owner, operator, or cashier who can be held criminally and civally liabel if someone is hurt you are better safe than sorry.

                                                                                                              1. re: Scargod

                                                                                                                The sting by the NYPD works like this, an officer over the age of 21 comes into the bar with a confederate. The officer orders 2 drinks, once s/he hands the drink to the minor the bartender is notified that he has broken the law and is given a ticket. A common mistake made by bartenders is to ask for the ID of the officer purchasing the drink but not the ID of the under aged confederate, this happened to a friend of mine and it cost him hundreds and hundreds of dollars.

                                                                                                                1. re: Scargod

                                                                                                                  Well, in some places it's not illegal for minors to request alcohol, or the minors are specifically exempted from criminal liability for participating in stings. In some cases they use police explorers (these are minors who are considering a career in law enforcement and do things like study and ride along with police officers in low-risk situations).

                                                                                                                  In other cases (especially in places where there's no way to exempt minors from criminal liability) a person of age will buy a drink in the presence of the minor, then set it down where the minor can reach it.

                                                                                                                  In either case, as soon as the liquor is paid for and the minor can reach it, the violation has occurred (because even those states that allow minor drinking restrict it to the minor's own home).

                                                                                                                  What it boils down to is basically that if a minor gets hold of liquor on a licensee's premises, it's the licensee's fault. Period.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                                                    Re: "even those states that allow minor drinking restrict it to the minor's own home."

                                                                                                                    Methinks you'd be better off if you limited yourself to the laws of the states you're familiar with. In California, for example, a minor may possess alcoholic beverages in a public place so long as he or she is "following, in a timely manner, the reasonable instructions of his or her parent legal guardian, responsible adult relative, or adult designee relating to disposition of the alcoholic beverage."

                                                                                                                    1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                      Well, I stand corrected, however, the two things are now somewhat in conflict: so does that mean I can give my 17-year-old cousin (if he's left in my charge) a beer in a liquor store which is theoretically a public place?

                                                                                                                      To response to KevinB (sorry, it's taking FOREVER to get responses up): I personally think that the whole thing is ridiculous and that the same effort might be better employed to try and get young people to treat alcohol responsibly. I don't want to comment on the remainder of that because it's clearly way off topic.

                                                                                                                      I can, however, vouch for the fact that in Iowa at least, if you are a parent and are buying your child ammunition, it is expressly allowed -- you can also write a note and send it along with someone else unrelated to the child to permit that person to buy ammunition for your child. Bear in mind that in many places in Iowa, middle-schoolers are still taught gun safety as part of an outdoor module for P.E.

                                                                                                                      1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                        I think you will find that the language you're quoting is from the CA Motor Motor Vehicle Code and refers to situations where a minor is found to possess alcohol in a vehicle. Adult instruction is a defense in that case.

                                                                                                                        I don't believe it allows possession in "any" public place. Section 25662 of the CA Business and Professions Code says: "It is unlawful for any person under the age of 21 to possess alcoholic beverages on any street or highway or in any place open to public view."

                                                                                                                        I'd hate to have anyone get into trouble based on what is most likely false info.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Midlife

                                                                                                                          I think you will find that the language I'm quoting is from precicely that section (B&P Code 25662). It's the last sentence of subdivision (a). The section starts with the prohibition of minors in possession that you quote; it ends by providing a complete defense for minors who are following their parent's instructions.

                                                                                                                          I'd hate to give anybody "false info" because I couldn't be bothered to read the entire statute.

                                                                                                                          1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                            Sorry. You're correct as to the wording of the full section. In fact, I wasn't able to open the link on the ABC Code reference page to read the original text. It wasn't that I couldn't be "bothered". My motivation was, in fact, just the opposite. I guess the phrase most likely" didn't cover me.

                                                                                                                            Your posts in this topic mostly seem to be in pursuit of the strict and literal understanding of the law, so I WAS misleading. What I found was on the websites of a couple of CA state colleges and, it's possible that the colleges pre-suppose that their students are not likely to be in possession of alcohol at a parent or legal guardian's direction and want them to focus on the risk of possession.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Midlife

                                                                                                                              However, let's be quite to the point here -- while you're right, alan, it is a legal defense, which means that you can still be arrested and processed and brought to be arraigned, where you whip out the defense and get set free (and, because we live in a litigious society, sue for wrongful arrest, etc.)

                                                                                                                              The police are not known for setting people free just because they can quote the law, which is why the "I know my rights" business doesn't usually improve the situation. The police counter with "talk to the judge".

                                                                                                                              1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                                                                Right. Since we're talkin' liquor, once three of us brothers and a friend went out for a drink after dinner. We had nothing to drink during dinner. The club regularly had an off-duty cop out front. The club had part of the parking lot resurfaced with new concrete at some point. We tested and crossed the new concrete on the way in. No marks. On the way out, after only a pitcher or two of beer between us, we were stopped by the cop as we started to re-cross the concrete. My little brother talked back to the officer. He was punched in the gut with a nightstick, then arrested for being drunk and disorderly.
                                                                                                                                Eventually, in court, charges were dismissed and the cop was given a severe tongue-lashing by the judge.
                                                                                                                                My brother was not intoxicated. None of us were. That didn't stop the chain of events or the hassle of righting the wrong.
                                                                                                                                In Texas, you can theoretically be arrested for spitting on the sidewalk.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                                                                  I get the distinct impression that you don't practice law for a living.

                                                                                                                                  A defense is a defense, whether it's based on an exception contained in the statute or factual innocence. It's a defense to a California minor-in-possession charge that the minor was acting pursuant to parental instruction. It's also a defense that the beverage in question was club soda.

                                                                                                                                  The police can arrest you for any crime they want to, regardless of probable cause. They're not supposed to, but they can. Which is why it's generally a bad idea to antagonize law enforcement personnel (a point well-illustrated by Scargod's example).

                                                                                                                                  But you started this tangent with the claim that an setting alcoholic beverage within a minor's reach is illegal in all 50 states. That's simply incorrect.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                                    You're right, I don't practice law. Happily, attorneys don't have a monopoly on discussions of law any more than newspaper restaurant reviewers have a monopoly on food writing.

                                                                                                                                    I said I stood corrected (at this writing, seven posts up from this reply), but that seems to have passed you by. Could we please just give it up and move on?

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                                                                      Attorneys don't (and shouldn't) have a monopoly on the discussion of legal issues. You should take the comment that don't come across as a lawyer as a compliment.

                                                                                                                                      I think we're in vehement agreement on all relevant issues. While it's fun to hash out the minutiae, those details don't make much practical difference.



                                                                                                                                      1. re: alanbarnes


                                                                                                                                        I apologize if this has been asked and answered elsewhere here, but I'm really intrigued by the originally posted issue.

                                                                                                                                        As a former California wine retailer I am well aware of the legal obligation to check ID and also of the possibilities of becoming part of a legal situation resulting from sale to a minor. I would also be concerned that a seller could be dragged into a legal action if it were charged that the seller had reason to believe that a sale to someone with ID would result in the alcohol being made available to a minor.

                                                                                                                                        However, I do not recall anything in the California codes that specifically refers to the situation in the OP. Everything I find refers to the sellers obligation with regard to the person buying the alcohol, all of which makes sense. But I don't find any reference to a minor accompanying a valid purchaser or whether or not anyone accompanying a purchaser needs to have valid ID. Even the CA minor decoy guidelines I found refer only to the decoy being the purchaser, not accompanying a purchaser.

                                                                                                                                        So............... is the original situation simply a very conservative approach by a seller or does it have a legal basis?

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Midlife

                                                                                                                                          I don't think there's anything in CA statutes or regulations that is directly on point to the OP's situation. But I suspect that a retailer will be liable for selling to a minor if a 30-year-old and an 18-year-old walk into a liquor store together, the teenager picks out a bottle and hands it to the older guy with some money, and the older guy buys the bottle and hands it to the teenager. This is a pretty extreme example, but the store owner knows or should know that the real buyer is the minor, and will probably be held responsible for that sale.

                                                                                                                                          On the other hand, I routinely buy alcoholic beverages while accompanied by my teenage daughter. There's never been a need for her to show ID. But the couple of times I've tried to get her to carry the stuff to the car (hey, a case of beer is heavy, and teenagers are good for heavy lifting if not much else), the cashier has intervened.

                                                                                                                                          I don't even remember what jurisdiction the OP was in, so don't really know if there's a legal basis for the seller's actions. My guess, though, is that the seller was just being especially cautious. But with such high stakes, low profit margins, and minimum-wage employees, I'd tend to err on the side of caution as well.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                                            I remember a situation in a grocery store where the cashier was under 21. She could not sell wine or beer. If a customer had either or both she would have to ask an older cashier or thee customer to ring up the sale..."a could you lean over here and press this button please?" Indiana!

                                                                                                                                            What I find really find strange in Indiana is that minors are prohibited from entering a liquor store but most of the groceries and drug stores carry wine, beer and liquor on their open shelves where parents routinely expose their young children in their shopping carts or running alongside them in the store. Indiana!

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Candy

                                                                                                                                              Yep, Indiana is weird about that sort of thing. I've been carded at the grocery store buying wine with my daughter along. She was 13 at the time and was mortified that they thought her mom was too young to buy alcohol. I was 33.

                                                                                                                                              I've had to ring up alcohol or cigarettes when the cashier was too young to purchase those. Sometimes, it's just sliding the item across the scanner and bagging it and other times, I've had to push a button on the register.

                                                                                                                                              I can't take either of my kids into a liquor store but Walmart, Aldi, Scotts (owned by Kroger) and even SavALot all sell beer, wine, and some even sell hard liquor now and the kids aren't prohibited from it. The Scotts store in Angola does have a seperate room for the hard liquors and has a sign at the entrance saying no minor can cross that threshold. The wine and beer is in the regular part of the store near that room.

                                                                                                                                              Someone mentioned Indiana's Election Day laws. I live near several very small towns. In Stroh, IN, there is one Pizza restaurant which is closed part of the week at lunchtime and there are two bars which sell food. I was out running errands and wanted to grab some lunch before going to vote and then going home. Everything was closed! The bars could not even open to sell food on Election Day but, get this, they can sell food and alcohol on Sunday. A bar that doesn't sell food can not sell alcohol or be open on Sunday but one that does falls under a different set of rules. Talk about confusing!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: alliedawn_98

                                                                                                                                                And yet is seems as though the grocery store sold you the demon wine, even though you were in the company of a minor child (your daughter) who clearly was not of age and probably had no ID to show in any case. Scandalous, and most likely a hanging offense on the part of that grocery clerk. ;-D

                                                                                                                                            2. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                                              I recently bought a tobacco product and my little one reached to grab it and I said no no honey you cant touch that and the cashier said I am so glad you knew that so many parents get mad if I tell their kids they cant carry it.

                                                                                                                        2. re: Scargod

                                                                                                                          hi again-- i'd say that the middle-aged-officer, underage companion sting described by KYinNYC is quite common in my area. however, this particular sting was just one dude coming in in the middle of the afternoon, and the officers were hanging out in the squad car on the street. i believe that the kid was trying to get out of his own legal troubles by serving as the underage buyer for the cops. i believe that if the sting had not been successful at my employer's, that they would have sent the kid along to the other establishments along the same street (many restaurants in the area). what really sucks is that the kid had such a weird, bad vibe about him, that neither one of us wanted to serve him-- i consciously walked away and let my boss (MOD) deal with him. she reluctantly addressed him, he ordered a bottle of budweiser (felt wrong again-- this guy was a miller lite or rolling rock type) she *carded* him-- even flipped the id over to check that the info on the back matched, as we're all careful to do, and i watched the whole thing, not a single other customer, and we'd been stocking beer prior to this person approaching. she served him the beer-- which he didn't touch, just left it sitting there on the napkin. . . next thing you know, the cops march in and sit her down in a booth to fill out the paperwork with the kitchen mgr (turns out bud was the preference of the arresting officer, who sat there swilling it during the citation work). then they took her away in cuffs, and i believe she sat in jail until monday morning, since this was a late friday afternoon, and i was one bartender doing the work of 2 for happy hour. . . luckily the barback was training in behind the bar, so he could at least pull taps, deliver food & help me clear dishes. . . then her legal nightmare began, and she lost her job, of course. :(

                                                                                                                          1. re: soupkitten

                                                                                                                            Why doesn't she have a very good case of "entrapment" as a defense? If the law enforcement officers provided a good enough "fake" ID to fool a careful scrutiny by your boss then she was actively induced to break the law by the enforcement establishment of your city.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                              I have never heard of law enforcement trying to pass false ID. In every instance that I know of, it's 2 individuals. One of age and one under aged come into the bar and the individual of age buys a drink for his confederate, it's the bartenders responsibility to check both IDs. Things are much easier if you have someone working the door but sometimes things get busy when you are by yourself. Just asking for ID can be a good deterrent because for the most part the under aged just protest and leave. Bad ID is pretty easy to spot these days.

                                                                                                                            2. re: soupkitten

                                                                                                                              As posted before a good faith, valid scrutiny of a fake ID would be a defense in California. I guess, however, the authorities could argue that the decoy was very obviously underage, add in the obvious bad vibe, and say the establishment should have refused to accept the ID. Stings can be very difficult. In the case described I would hope a judge would dismiss the case if it happened here.

                                                                                                                              In our area an unlicensed shop was cited and fined something like $3,000 when a decoy adult couple spent 20+ minutes trying to convince a clerk to let them taste an artisanal beer before placing a large order for a party. The clerk was clearly in the wrong, but the decoys really worked him over until he finally gave in. No excuse, but it gives you an idea of how things work.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Midlife

                                                                                                                                The problem, of course, is that regardless of whether the case is dismissed or not, the person who served the alcohol is probably fired anyway -- if not for serving underaged persons liquor, then for causing such troubles for the management. Even if your attorney countersues and prevails for court costs, there's lost time for you and for the management, etc.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Midlife

                                                                                                                                  the id wasn't fake, the cops do not use fake ids-- the cops claimed she erred computing the guy's age-- & she claimed that the id presented to her was not the same one in the citation. i don't know what to think, as i'm not a lawyer, didn't see the id up close, and just witnessed the whole thing from about 15 feet away. i know that the judge believed the cops and not my boss, & despite no criminal record, they really tried to nail her & make sure she never worked in any situation involving alcohol again. i find it hard to believe that after 15+ years of carding people for service, that this woman erred on the guy's age, but i do suppose it's possible.

                                                                                                                                  i'm sure that in other areas, that this case may have been even thrown out of court. . . however since one of the biggest college campuses in the country is right over there *gesturing to my right,* the cops in this town, and the courts, aren't particularly inclined to go easy on lq law infractions. some lq stores do card at the door here, for example-- not 21? no entry. the op's case, in my area, would have looked to any casual observer as if an underage/college aged female was putting her of age friend/boyfriend up to purchasing illegally for herself or her other underage friends, hey maybe the whole sorority house. . . erm, especially since they were trying to purchase a tequila-like-substance, that has, among college-aged folks: *switching to deadpan delivery* absolutely-no-cache-as-a-panty-dropping, blackout-producing, frat party fuel. . .

                                                                                                                                  my point in talking about the sting, is that the customer who fails to bring the id to the store and is refused service ***is not in any way a victim***. the potential victim of improper ids/lq law infractions are the server/cashier, and the establishment. the one who ends up serving/selling can lose their job, their career, their clean record, and thousands and thousands of dollars, years in court and on probation, the ankle bracelet, etc. the establishment has similar legal fees, insurance hikes, possible loss of lq licenses. in many areas, not bringing an id when you intend to purchase alcohol should be seen as an unbelievably gauche move, especially for anyone in their 20's.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: soupkitten

                                                                                                                                    Gee, cop's lying to get a conviction? That never happens (ha ha). This is one of those times that your boss would have/should have called someone else over to look at the ID. If two people saw it and both testified that the ID showed the holder at over the legal age then reasonable doubt would have been much stronger.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                      Gee, it sounds like you have knowledge of "cop's" lying to get a conviction--hope you properly reported them to the FBI! Do you really think it's common for police officers to risk their jobs and freedom by lying to convict people of improperly selling alcohol?

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                          Servorg, your link is completely irrelevant to the topic.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                            Thank you for the 10 year old article about a police corruption scandal in LA, unfortunately these scandals do arise from time to time in police departments throughout the country. Does this mean that most cops lie to get convictions, keeping it back on topic, for improperly selling alcohol?

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Marge

                                                                                                                                              I think that what Servorg was getting at is: Because someone else broke the rules everybody else gets to break the rules now too.

                                                                                                                                              Or maybe the point here is that rules and laws just don't matter.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: jpc8015

                                                                                                                                                No. I'm saying that making idiotic laws and then putting idiots in charge of enforcing them is a recipe for idiotic decisions.

                                                                                                                                              2. re: Marge

                                                                                                                                                Marge, I never said most. Unfortunately it happens. Perhaps more than we as a society would like. But the topic at hand, refusing to sell alcohol to someone that is of legal age and has valid ID because they are in the company of someone who may or may not be of age is absurd.

                                                                                                                                                I say the state has no business being in the business of mind reading. Have they ever shown that this particular facet of the law does any good in keeping alcohol out of the hands of minors? If someone is buying alcohol to give to a minor they would make this mistake (taking the minor along into the store with them) exactly once. After that they get left in the car or on the corner or back at their home/motel.

                                                                                                                                                I still say having a law that is so laughably idiotic simply makes people have a lessened respect for that law and the "law makers" who put it into place. Let's have laws that make sense.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                  I still say having a law that is so laughably idiotic simply makes people have a lessened respect for that law and the "law makers" who put it into place. Let's have laws that make sense.

                                                                                                                                                  We agree--but let's not libel the people who are paid to enforce the idiotic laws...
                                                                                                                                                  On a similar note, I would like to rant that I resent having to show ID in the supermarket in order to buy beer...I have earned every gray hair on my head and wrinkle on my face. Cheers!

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Marge

                                                                                                                                                    I too believe that most police officers are good, law abiding and brave. They put their lives on the line, and try to make a difference because they care. The terrible thing is when even a small percentage of those given power over others break the law themselves. They should have the book thrown at them. Abuse of citizens under color of authority is a crime that should be dealt with more harshly than for our regular "garden variety" crooks.

                                                                                                                                                    Cheers! back at you, Marge (from another silver headed/bearded/wrinkled fellow citizen).

                                                                                                                                  2. re: Scargod

                                                                                                                                    In Missouri (at least on the western side) they conduct stings with actual underage people attempting to buy liquor, with either fake or no ID, then they give a whole lot of publicity to the results. They do liquor stores and clubs/bars.

                                                                                                                                2. Oh, brings back memories. We were in a dry county for a long weekend of camping in Arkansas. My younger brother (24 at the time) and I drove 50 miles to pick up a case of wine, a little beer and a bottle or hard liquor, as I recall. We found a liquor store, and I brought up the beer and the bottle. Brother brought up the case of wine. Of course, he did not have his ID with him. They would sell me what I carried up, but not the wine - regardless of whether we put it all back and I brought it up. No deal.

                                                                                                                                  We drove another 25 miles and finally got the wine in another county. It all, I did almost 100 miles, just to buy what we should have been able to buy on the first stop. A couple of lessons: when in foreign country, play by their rules, and always carry your ID.

                                                                                                                                  Heck, even at 60+, I still get carded at airports, so I have my passport on hand, since the servers want to take the ID to the back for some reason, and my wallet is tough to get the driver's license out of. The passport works the treat.

                                                                                                                                  It happens,


                                                                                                                                  9 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                    You get carded at airport bars now? At over the age of 60? If you look anything like me Bill and the bartender is carding you they have bigger problems at that bar than underage drinkers.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                      don't you have to have ID with you at the airport anyway? every time i've flown lately I have to show a photo ID at many checkpoints.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                        Airport bars card EVERYONE; it removes the element of judgment from the transaction. You want a beer, you prove you're old enough to have it. The only airport bar in the US I've ever been in that didn't card me was at Oakland Terminal 2, and that was five years ago.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                                                                          I was just at OGG, SAT, MSY, DEN, BNA and TYS. None carded me. Maybe a corporate policy. Would have to check to see if any of these were Host restaurants.

                                                                                                                                          While it is not a policy everywhere in the US (never have been carded at LHR), but many locations enforce it.

                                                                                                                                          Keep your ID handy, when ordering a beer, or wine in a US airport. You *may* be carded, even if you are as old as I.


                                                                                                                                          1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                            Well, and they know everybody has ID with them, since you have to have ID to get through security. Trapped!

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                                                                              One would think.

                                                                                                                                              Heck, on one trip, I was strip-searched three times. Two of these within the security check points. I though that it was just some of the TSA folk, who wanted to see me naked!

                                                                                                                                              You'd think that someone with a million miles on United, a ticket bought with a Platinum AMEX card, held since '74, a mono-syllabic first & last name of English origin and a Frequent Flier on that airline might get by with only two strip-searches, but no. Go figure.

                                                                                                                                              Do not recall if I was carded on that flight, or not.


                                                                                                                                          2. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                                                                            Er.. possibly American airport bars; never been carded at LHR, CDG, HKG, Seoul, Manila, Bangkok, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary and Halifax. For that matter, I wasn't carded at LGA, ORD, LAX, or SFO, but I haven't been through those since 9/11 so maybe it's changed.

                                                                                                                                          3. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                            Yes. It seems to be some sort of "we card everyone" policy.

                                                                                                                                            Because of many TSA stations wanting to hold the card/certificate/etc. and look at the back, I always travel with my passport, even if only flying to Tucson from Phoenix. My wallet is a trick to totally extract the driver's license, and requires pulling out all of my credit cards. I then have to replace each, in order, after the license. The passport is handy, so I just travel with it. I use it at the airport restaurants, when ordering a glass of wine. What is funny is that I can get a glass at the Red Carpet Club without any ID, just down the concourse, but the restaurants insist on seeing some sort of ID. Now, I wish that it was a matter of me looking too young, but we all know that this is not the case - some sort of corporate policy. This has happened at PHX, LAX, SFO and IAD. Many other airports do not seem to have such a policy, either in the US, or abroad.


                                                                                                                                            1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                              There are some airport bar/restaurants that will card everyone even if you are ordering a burger and soda.

                                                                                                                                              As soon as you sit down they ask for ID and will not give you a menu until produced.

                                                                                                                                          4. OK, I had this thread in mind last night - New Years Eve, as I was sent to buy provisions for an after-gig band party in our hotel room. I was given a shopping list of alcohol and mixers to buy, but was careful not to mention that, based on what I've read here.

                                                                                                                                            All went well, and we got the rest of the band out of our hotel room by 4 am this morning.

                                                                                                                                            1. That's just insane! How old ARE you anyway? Young enough to be possibly taken to be underage? Or is it just beaurocracy gone mad. I think the whole thing is pretty stupid anyway. Kids who want to drink never seem to have any trouble getting their hands on booze no matter how much carding goes on to try and prevent it.

                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                              1. re: Kajikit

                                                                                                                                                The OP is 26, her fiance is 27. Carding people in their mid-twenties is perfectly acceptable.

                                                                                                                                              2. We've almost hit a hundred on this post and nobody mentioned religion. I'll probably be deleted?
                                                                                                                                                I'm 62 and I've seen some weird laws. I was just in Tulsa where they have some good ones... I brought a bottle of wine to a small Asian restaurant because I just suspected that they might not serve wine or liquor, at all. They would only let me bring it in if I had it in a sack! I said I did not have a sack... I had to beg for a plastic bag and wait around almost five minutes for it. Then, the old man of the establishment seemed unhappy that I was drinking wine in his place. I was hard-pressed to get a clear answer about BYOB in Tulsa and it seemed to boil down to whether the restaurant wanted to allow it or not. Anyway, their laws are not simple.
                                                                                                                                                North Texas is the same way. Be north of Walnut Hill Lane, in Dallas and you are likely to be required to join a "club" to get a drink. Then there are pockets of Texas municipalities where they are wide open or just sell beer (no liquor stores allowed). The NIMBY attitude because it will bring crime and lowering of standards. Or towns don't allow anything sold on Sunday or only sell beer on Sunday, after noon. It gets very strange and hard to keep up with.
                                                                                                                                                I had thought (or been told), that northern states, and speciffically states in the N-E and N-W, had more liberal laws about alcohol. On many an occasion visitors from out of state have asked "what's up with this membership thing in order to get a drink?" I was often told it was the voting moral majority (the large population of conservative religions), that kept the laws so quirky in the south. I see that is not always true and that it exists in places outside the south.

                                                                                                                                                46 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: Scargod

                                                                                                                                                  Some cities in Massachusetts have odd rules. In the town next to mine, you must order food before ordereing a second cocktail. I was at a pub in this town last week, there were four of us, and we were allowed to have several cocktails before ordering apps. I did see a group of people at another table who were asked to order food after one drink Weird. Also, another townn near me has two old laws- you are not able to stand up with a drink in your hand, and the really odd rule- the person who pours and/or makes your drink cannot serve youyr drink. Pretty weird if you are sitting at the bar, next to the taps and the bartender draws you a beer. Have to wait for another bartender to come by and put your drink in front ot you. Then, if you are waiting for a dining table, the hostess has to carry your cocktail to your table.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: macca

                                                                                                                                                    Sounds like a Union rule to me.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Scargod

                                                                                                                                                      Not union rules- it is city specific. All of the restaurants in these two cities have the same rules. They are old "blue laws". Crazy.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: macca

                                                                                                                                                        I live in TX and am familiar with the "join the club for $2" (or whatever fee they care to apply) so that I can have a glass of wine at the Dallas Galleria. It is indeed an old time temperance issue. (thre are "dry" areas in Houston too) I seldom get carded no matter where or how much liquor I am buying (I am in my "late 40s" and look every bit of it) but every once in a while the clerk at Spec's gets cute and says "you're old enough for this, right?" I've also been carded at that same bar in ORD.

                                                                                                                                                        A bigger point here that NO ONE has made is this -- and Melanie, please dont take this personally -- but no one should EVER leave the house without some form of ID. Its not a "gestapo" issue. If something happens to you, i.e. you're hit by a bus while crossing the street, your in an automobile accident, etc. and cannot speak for yourself, the parties called to treat you cannot contact your immediata family or spouse to alert them to the problem. My brother-in-law went out late one night to walk his dog, leaving his wallet behind. Several blocks from home he had a massive stroke, and was found on the sidewalk by passers-by. Until his friends started calling around to local hospitals because they couldnt find him, no one knew who he was, and it was sheer luck that the friend who located him knew how to contact the family. He did not survive, Im sad to say, but family members were able to get to his bedside before he died. Sorry to be Debbie Downer here, but this is the world we live in.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: macca

                                                                                                                                                          IIRC, macca and I have had this discussion before - I think one of the towns she talked about is the one in which I live. About 5 years ago, you couldn't order a drink at a bar in Woburn, MA unless you had a seat at the bar. There is no standing or "walking around" and drinking allowed. You also had to order food before your second drink. I'm not sure if the food requirement before the 2nd drink is still in effect, however. (I'm thinking of Not Your Average Joe's or Bertucci's in the Woburn Mall - I *think* you can sit and have two drinks there without any issue.)

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: macca

                                                                                                                                                        Which towns go with which rules?

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: jgg13

                                                                                                                                                          In stoneham, have to order food before being served your second drink. This rule is still in force. In Woburn, they had the other two silly rules-- but they may not be still the case. To be truthful, it has been a lot of years since I have sat at a bar in woburn!

                                                                                                                                                      3. re: Scargod

                                                                                                                                                        what other reason, besides religious moralizing, could there be for such laws?

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: thew

                                                                                                                                                          Two points. One i am in Buenos Aires at the moment and just had a great cocktail with Pico Sour, so i highly recomend that if you get the chance...buy some!!
                                                                                                                                                          Second point. Its funny that how with all our laws and controls we are still unable to control the problems that arise from alcohol abuse. In argentina the laws seem non exsistent but in the last two week the only drunks i have seen where my fellow country men.

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Scargod

                                                                                                                                                          Well, in Nfld, up until just a few years ago, the liquor stores were closed on Sunday, and the corner stores that sold only beer (and still do), would lock up the beer fridges at midnight Saturday. I think agency stores still stayed open. Everything's opened all the time now.

                                                                                                                                                          Same used to go for certain religious holidays, such as Good Friday, when everything, including bars were closed. Oddly enough, they would open and serve liquor at midnight. Last time I was in an airport bar on Good Friday, heading home for easter, the rule was two drinks max, and those two drinks had to accompany a food order....what that was all about I don't know. Equally odd, the size of the drinks didn't matter, so you could have two triples and no one batted an eye. I'm guessing it's due to the intent of it being a solemn day, and an effort to quell public drunkedness, also that GF is also a typical day of some restriction, no meat and no eating between meals (or at least it used to be)

                                                                                                                                                          Alot of liqour stores in Nova Scotia are still closed on sundays, except in a few larger areas, where the stores are attached to supermarkets. Wineries and such stay open. No beer in the corner stores in NS.

                                                                                                                                                          I don't mind the rules. It's not as if you can't work around them, and besides, no one ever keeled over from not being able to have a drink.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: im_nomad

                                                                                                                                                            In MA. all liquor stores are closed on Sunday, except those within 10 miles from the NH border! We do have some odd rules here!

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: macca


                                                                                                                                                              Kappy's in Malden & Revere are open from 12:00PM on Sundays till 6:00PM and have been for a few years now. There may be more stores, but those are the 2 I definitely know of.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                wow- there you go- guess the rules have changed! I know liquor stores from north reading northward were open, but did not realize Malden was open too. Soon, we can buy some of our booze in Melrose!

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: macca

                                                                                                                                                                  LOL... I know... Bigga change. Never thought I'd see the day!

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: macca

                                                                                                                                                                That's completely untrue. The Blue Laws were changed around ten years ago to allow alcohol purchases on Sunday. It may vary by town, but it's perfectly legal on the state level.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                                                                                  ypu obviously did not read my post where i apologized for the error

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: macca

                                                                                                                                                                    invinotheresverde said "around ten years ago". Your apology did not go back far enough.....

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Scargod

                                                                                                                                                                      what does that mean! I said: I guess the rules have changed- I did not say when they changed, as I did not know- but i admitted my error- now you are telling me that my apology did not go back far enough?

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: macca

                                                                                                                                                                      I know it said your post retraction says it was posted before I responded, but it wasn't there when I began writing.

                                                                                                                                                                    3. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                                                                                      The thing that really irked me when that happened was that the #1 opponent to the repeal were liquor store owners. If they don't want to be open on Sundays, then don't open on Sundays - why codify it so that no one can be open on Sundays (I understand that they don't want competition, but still)

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jgg13

                                                                                                                                                                        I think people buy more if they know their opportunities to do so are limited. My cousin who lived in Philadelphia for a while in the early '80s commented that he actually bought *more* wine because he didn't want to be caught short when the stores were closed. If you can sell as much or more product in six days then why pay staff/overhead for a seventh day?

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                          The largest complaint raised when this was going on was "That's our day off" and "I can't just close Sundays, because my competitor won't".

                                                                                                                                                                          I do recall the issue that you raise coming up as well, but the main one that I mention really annoyed me.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                            In Pennsylvania, the only place you can buy wine is in a State Store (state-run liquor store). Those have always been closed on Sunday until a few years ago. With the increased interest/demand for wine, many of the State Stores have started to specialize in wine sales, carrying a biggier and more varied inventory than some of the other State Stores. A few years ago, in response to public outcry , political pressure, and (I am sure) economic sense, the State Liquor Control Department decided to open designated State Stores on Sunday -- many of those stores also happen to be the stores specializing in wine. Because all liquor stores in PA are State Stores, and not privately owned stores, there really isn't any question about competition. We do have several upscale supermarkets (Wegman's specifically) that are putting great pressure on the state to allow sales of beer & wine in their markets since they are allowed to do just that in neighboring states (NJ, DE, NY). I don't know if that will ever happen in my lifetime since the state has such a sweet monopoly on alcohol.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: PattiCakes

                                                                                                                                                                              actually no wine sales in grocery stores in New York; just beer (though I have seen some kind of strange "wine product" in small quantities that perhaps is very lightly alcoholic wine). And in NY wine stores (i.e. liquor stores) only recently began being open on Sundays.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: PattiCakes

                                                                                                                                                                                A friend of mine owns a tavern in Kinzers Station PA and has a beer machine... like a coke machine. People come in all day long to buy a 6-pack or two.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: jgg13

                                                                                                                                                                              You answered your own point. As a group they assume that the sales/consumption of their product into the total marketplace will be essentially the same over time whether stores are open Sunday or not. Therefore, switching to being open Sunday will simply increase their costs (and reduce their time at home with families) without any actual net benefit. Thus as a group it is in their interest to maintain the legal requirement that all stores be closed Sunday, because if the law is changed then some will open, and all will then have to open to remain competitive.

                                                                                                                                                                              As another example, I seem to recall that car dealers in Detroit were the same way, although it may well have changed since I was living in the area.

                                                                                                                                                                              If you really want to find out how bad it can be, go to Germany sometime and try to buy anything at all (other than at a restaurant or a pharmacy) between 4pm Saturday and Monday morning.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: johnb

                                                                                                                                                                                Johnb- Yes! Exactly, that entire country shuts down on Sundays. I swear you can starve to death if you don't plan ahead. I used to live there and visitors would think I was exagerating about rolling up the sidewalks on Sunday, until they saw if for themselves. Even after three years I never really got the hang of planning for Sunday, invariably I'd forget something I needed for Sunday dinner. I do not miss that.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mjhals

                                                                                                                                                                                  I remeber back when I was growing up that virtually all stores were closed on Sunday. My dad was a neighborhood pharmacist, and would sometimes open on Sunday mornings (or at least be available in case someone needed a prescription filled). Of course that was at a time when you usually had a stay-at-home mother/spouse who was available to run all of those errands during the rest of the week.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Still, if you go to certain areas, like Lancaster PA, many of the stores are closed on Sunday because they depend on Amish/Mennonite help, and those individuals will not work on the Sabbath.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: PattiCakes

                                                                                                                                                                                    Oh, you remind me of the ridiculous laws that held in Ontario until the late 1970's. If you went into a liquor store, you were faced with large signs that posted the name, brand, type, and size of liquor being offered. You filled in a paper sheet, signed your name (note: approximately 40% of Ontario's male population was named "William Shakespeare" at the time), and took it to one clerk, who tallied your purchase and took your money (no credit cards, thank you). You were given a slip, and then went to another line where you waited for your number to be called, where your purchases were provided to you in an opaque paper bag (no chance of letting anyone see that you were.. gasp.. buying alcohol!). Closed on Sundays, and any holidays, including Remembrance Day (November 11) when a vet or two might have wanted a drink.

                                                                                                                                                                                    And buying alcohol with dinner? For years, you had to purchase more food ($ wise) than your drinks, and on Sunday, wine only - no beer, no liquor, and only with a food purchase. The only US jurisdiction I've found with more ridiculous laws on alcohol than my Ontario is South Carolina.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: KevinB



                                                                                                                                                                                      It was truly awful before the Salt Lake Olympics, but it's still pretty amusing.
                                                                                                                                                                                      It used to be two ounces total, so you couldn't order, say, a Long Island Iced Tea, and you couldn't have two drinks in front of you at the same time. Then they changed it so you could have two drinks in front of you, so people would order a drink and a shot, and pour the shot into the drink so that it was a normal drink.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Now you can have two and a half ounces of alcohol in a drink, so you can have a normal adult-size drink in front of you (but the liquor is dispensed from one-ounce meters, so...). You can still have two drinks in front of you, HOWEVER, if you're in a restaurant (as opposed to a "private club", a.k.a., bar), if one of the drinks contains hard liquor, the other has to be beer or wine -- no more sidecars.

                                                                                                                                                                                      They still have the "private club" rule where you have to buy a three-week membership in order to get a drink, and bars in restaurants must be completely separate from the restaurants (this is lovingly referred to as the "Zion Curtain")... and you're still not allowed to buy kegs of beer.

                                                                                                                                                                                      I mean, sheesh. Kansas is another one with stupidly-restrictive laws. In Utah's case, Nevada is the next state over and has nearly no alcohol laws other than age (21) -- and in Kansas' case, Missouri is the same way.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Incidentally, South Carolina's mini-bottle rule (which is no longer in effect, I'm told) resulted in some HELLA strong drinks and was, in fact, started as a way to keep consumers of alcohol from being cheated by short pours.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                                                                                                                        In SC the mini-bottle rule was repealed the end of 2005, although a lot of bars kept the practise up for awhile (I know a few places on Sullivan's Island which only started using full bottles this past summer). The grocery stores do sell beer and wine, even on Sundays.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Why I don't get are some of the dumb blue laws still in effect in what should be a progressive and modern city--New York: wine and liquor stores can't sell beer, mixers, or snacks; if beer is to be sold, food must also be sold.

                                                                                                                                                                                        At least through a few years ago in Ohio, liquor at full price but half strength/watered down versions could be sold at the grocery stores falling under the alcohol percentage restrictions (20% Bacardi, Maker's Mark, Stolichnaya...).

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Caralien

                                                                                                                                                                                          A lot of the laws and rules are the result of a) holdover concerns that alcohol served/consumed without food is more likely to cause problems (in California a restaurant does not have the same age-in-the-space prohibitions that bars and tasting rooms do) and b) lobbying from distributors who do a lot of campaign contributing and get things passed that are favorable to their businesses (take a look at who supports state laws to stop consumers from buying wine from out of state - the local distributor wants a piece of the action). .

                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: macca

                                                                                                                                                                            macca - stores are allowed to open between 12-6pm on Sundays now - you don't have to be within 10-15 miles of the NH border. But it is their choice to do so - they don't have to.

                                                                                                                                                                            ETA: Didn't read your post that you were now aware of the open-on-Sunday-is-OK situation. Sorry.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Scargod

                                                                                                                                                                          Ah, the Oklahoma "private club." I think it was Will Rogers who said that ''Oklahomans vote dry as long as they can stagger to the polls.'' They didn't even repeal prohibition until 1959, and that was only after a 90-day reign of terror by a public safety commissioner who arrested bootleggers, raided speakeasies, and poured out thousands of gallons of liquor. Not because the governor was in favor of prohibition - to the contrary, he was opposed - but because he wanted liquor legalized so that it could be taxed.

                                                                                                                                                                          Still, it was illegal until 1984 for a bar to sell you anything stronger than 3.2 ABV beer. You were supposed to purchase a bottle of liquor at the package store and bring it into a private club, where the bartender could sell you a "set-up" of glass, ice, mixers, etc. Of course, if you didn't finish the bottle, the "club" could store it for you until your next visit, but they still didn't own the liquor; the bottle had to be conspicuously labeled with the customer's name.

                                                                                                                                                                          I worked at a restaurant in Tulsa in the years around 1980. Our "private club" was exclusive: the prospective member had to pay a dollar and swear that they did not work for the Alcoholic Beverage Control board. And every time a wine or liquor shipment came in, we had to sit around labeling the bottles with random club members' names.

                                                                                                                                                                          Moving to Massachusetts in 1983, the blue laws didn't seem that strange at all...

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                                                                            Sometime what began as a religious law morphs into a boondogle for local governments by way of taxes. Pennsylvania has something called the Blue Laws. Wikipedia says that the term "blue" was used in the 18th century to refer to things relating to rigid moral (often Puritanical) code. These Blue Laws prohibit the sale of alcohol on Sunday, although there are ways around that (for instance you can sell alcohic beverages after noon on Sundays in an place that serves meals (not just "food"). PA also has a State Store system that permits alcohol other than beer to be sold only in State Stores, no grocery stores, no 7-11's. This means that the state controls the price of liquor. Until recently, State Stores were closed on Sundays. Beer may be sold in bars and in Beer Distributors, but you can only buy a case at a distributor. PA also puts a heavy tax on alcohol resold in a restaurant - the restaurant musty purchase it from the state, then resell it to patrons. That's why BYOBs are so popular in PA -- the price of a bottle of wine, if purchased in a restaurant, can be 2-4 times what you would pay for it yourself if you bought it outside. It's also why it is not uncommon for Pennsylvanians to make "booze runs" to neighboring states -- mostly NJ and DE -- to stock up on beer and wine. Knowledgeable people, however, know to buy their stuff as soon as they cross the state line, then go about their business doing something else in that state since police are always on the lookout for cars making quick turn-around trips. They will stop your car & confiscate what you just bought. And you wonder why our sports fans can get so surly?

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: PattiCakes

                                                                                                                                                                              Well, it definitely seems to work. There are no DUI arrests in Pennsylvania, no alcohol-fueled interpersonal crimes (robbery, domestic violence, etc.) and certainly no public drunkenness.

                                                                                                                                                                              *roll eyes*

                                                                                                                                                                              It would be interesting, if difficult, to compare crime rate and quality of life between someplace with very restrictive laws (Utah, Pennsylvania, S. Carolina, etc.) and someplace with looser laws (California, Nevada, etc.).

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: PattiCakes

                                                                                                                                                                                I had a friend from PA whose father once, many years ago, bought liquor in NJ and took it back--he himself was strictly a beer drinker but brought it in for others. Anyway, PA had a spotter at the store who had written down his tag number, and they were waiting for him at his house when he got back. That cost him dearly. Maybe they don't stake out nearby liquor stores any longer (I can imagine some of the phone calls the PA governor got from his colleagues in NJ etc.), but perhaps it's a good idea to buy far far from the state line anyway.

                                                                                                                                                                                BTW, restaurant wine markups of 2-4x are hardly unique to PA.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: PattiCakes

                                                                                                                                                                                  I have always been under the impression that Federal law (Interstate Commerce laws) allows us to legally buy alcohol (or any other goods) for personal consumption in other than the state we live in, and then bring it back home to our own state to drink. Is this not true? I don't see how PA would get away with confiscating legally bought alcohol as long as it is being transported according to the motor vehicle laws of PA (such as no open container in the front seat area - the driver being of legal drinking age, etc.).

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                                                    It seems silly, but it's true. The 21st Amendment provides that "[t]he transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited." This prohibition effectively gives the states absolute power to regulate everything related to alcohol, and because it is specific, it trumps the general language of the Interstate Commerce Clause.

                                                                                                                                                                                    So, to quote Lawrence Tribe, "there are two ways, and only two ways, in which an ordinary private citizen ... can violate the United States Constitution. One is to enslave someone, a suitably hellish act. The other is to bring a bottle of beer, wine, or bourbon into a State in violation of its beverage control laws—an act that might have been thought juvenile, and perhaps even lawless, but unconstitutional?"

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                                                                                      Well, at least the court is chipping away at this "amendment" through the recent (2005) case of "Granholm v. Heald which held that the Twenty-first Amendment does not overrule the Dormant Commerce Clause with respect to alcohol sales, and that therefore states must treat in-state and out-of-state wineries equally. The Court criticized its earliest rulings on the issue, (including State Board of Equalization v. Young's Market Co.) and promulgated its most limited interpretation to date:

                                                                                                                                                                                      The aim of the Twenty-first Amendment was to allow States to maintain an effective and uniform system for controlling liquor by regulating its transportation, importation, and use. The Amendment did not give States the authority to pass nonuniform laws in order to discriminate against out-of-state goods, a privilege they had not enjoyed at any earlier time."

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                                                        hmm...sounds like it might be time for someone in PA to try launching a challenge of the law re buying in NJ and bringing back....

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: susancinsf

                                                                                                                                                                                          I do strongly dislike these tiny little minds coming up with their schemes (scams?) to control/keep the adult population from enjoying itself. It brings to mind a few other laws I would like to see go the way of the dinosaurs like.... (never mind - I don't need any more deletions on my record this week).

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: susancinsf

                                                                                                                                                                                            The problem is that the Granholm decision was based on discrimination between products produced in-state and products produced out-of-state. So long as a state prohibits the importation of alcoholic beverages from other states without regard to where those beverages are produced, the law will probably withstand constitutional scrutiny. On the other hand, a test case would certainly be interesting...

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                                                                                              But does PA law also prohibit the export of their alcoholic beverages out of state?

                                                                                                                                                                                2. That's pretty standard in a lot of places I've lived in recently (SF, Chicago, NY, NJ, CT, SC), but it has been always been more enforced when purchasing tequila, domestic beer (not small batch), fruity drinks (Bartles and Jaymes, Smirnoff, Zima, fruit-flavoured wines, white zinfandel), Jagermeister, Goldschlager, peach schnapps, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Now that I'm 36 and my husband has salt & pepper hair, we get carded less. At some places, particularly during holiday weekends, it's more enforced even at places I've regularly purchased alcohol (though not where we know the owners and staff by name).

                                                                                                                                                                                  The fact that they served you tastes of alcohol then enforced the policy is also ridiculous, as you could (technically) charge them for serving minors or those without IDs (not recommended). That said, it's usually the distributor reps serving the free tastes, and not the owners of the store (I have no idea what the law is for serving but not charging for alcohol, but know that there are places which won't sell you tequila, but only the mix, because they don't have a liquor license, but will also give you some "house tequila" to add yourself to the mix).

                                                                                                                                                                                  I understand the law--you don't want to buy for minors, etc. A store/club/restaurant doesn't want its license revoked or to be shut down because a minor was drinking booze from their establishment (rare, but more of an issue for independant establishments, which, incidentally, enforce this less). It's to prevent the local drunk or homeless person from buying booze for underaged HS students, but its enforcement is so inconsistent (please note that I'm not making a judgement call regarding all homeless people; most of us remember someone like that near the 7-11 or similar growing up if we couldn't find someone we knew who was legal or convincing enough to purchase alcohol at that time)

                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Caralien

                                                                                                                                                                                    There is a supermarket in Chesapeake Beach that will NOT sell smokes to geriatrics on walkers,,,this is NOT cool IMHO.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Perhaps you should have said: "She is of age but you served alcohol to her with out carding in clear violation of store policy. How is selling me a bottle of tequila any different."

                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Withnail42

                                                                                                                                                                                      Just because a none store employee made a mistake doesn't mean that another store employee shouldn't make a different call on the situation.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Withnail42

                                                                                                                                                                                        As others upthread have pointed out, it is often the liquor distributor or beverage promotional team handing out the samples, not employees of the liquor store itself. The distributor isn't liable, so they don't have the concerns of providing alcohol to a minor. The liquor store, as many, many, many people upthread have pointed out is absolutely liable if they provide alcohol to a minor.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Clearly this situation brings up a valid point that the liquor store should either card people immediately upon entering so that samples are not provided to minors, or not allow samples to be given out.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Many businesses post a sign saying "We reserve the right to refuse service." It sounds like you live in a state that permits private stores to sell liquor. Nonetheless, all stores, anywhere, who sell booze of any kind must follow state laws, as alcohol is a regulated good. The law is, no sales to anyone under 21. The policies surrounding that vary but are related to preventing underage drinking.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Bottom line: this store had the legal duty to make sure that the tequila was being sold to someone at least 21 years old. They also had the legal right to make sure that they weren't going to be on the hook for a minor eventually drinking. You didn't have ID, they didn't sell it to either you or your fiance. They were within their rights to do so. You were in the wrong for failing to bring ID. Just because they didn't card you before or after this incident doesn't mean that they can't ever ask--for whatever reason, they gave you a pass.

                                                                                                                                                                                        But--was the store logical, fair, consistent? Those are business considerations, not legal ones.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Sorry, I think you were in the wrong for failing to show ID, and then getting upset because the store refused to overlook this.

                                                                                                                                                                                        8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Erika L

                                                                                                                                                                                          "They also had the legal right to make sure that they weren't going to be on the hook for a minor eventually drinking."

                                                                                                                                                                                          The legal "right" is shaky because "eventually" is too vague. Are they on the hook if a minor snitches a drink from the liquor cabinet the following month? The following week? The following day? Half an hour later? Where do you draw the line? How do you decide who to card and under what circumstances?

                                                                                                                                                                                          Unless their posted policy is to card every one in every party for every sale, they are not enforcing a law but rather making arbitrary, potentially discriminatory, judgments about whom to sell to based on that person's appearance and the appearance of someone who has been identified as their companion. What if, for example, they enforced this policy in such a way that they refused sales primarily to members of minority groups? Would that be their legal right?

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                            "...making arbitrary, potentially discriminatory, judgments about whom to sell to based on that person's appearance".

                                                                                                                                                                                            Are you suggesting every person buying alcohol gets carded? I don't have a major problem with that. I do have a problem with you suggesting people who card other people (I do, as a sommelier) are potentially making discriminatory judgements against others because we're doing our job. This has nothing to do with race- it has everything to do with a young adult accompanying her also young fiance into a liquor store to buy alcohol.

                                                                                                                                                                                            "Are they on the hook if a minor snitches a drink from the liquor cabinet the following month?"

                                                                                                                                                                                            No, but they ARE responsible to not sell alcohol to minors. The fiance was purchasing, for all intents and purposes, for a minor, since the OP couldn't prove otherwise. His leaving and returning to the store a few minutes later doesn't change that.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Frankly, I don't think you understand the laws, and just think your opinion should be the right.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                                                                                                              ....and just think your opinion should be the right.

                                                                                                                                                                                              There's a lot of that going around here and there.....not you invino....I mean the angry people.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm suggesting that it would be more true to the spirit of the law if everyone were carded. The fact that a discriminatory system is the norm doesn't make it less discriminatory.

                                                                                                                                                                                                "The fiance was purchasing, for all intents and purposes, for a minor, since the OP couldn't prove otherwise." -- The clerk has no right to assume (1) that the person of legal age is "for all intents and purposes" buying the alcohol for a minor -- that would be a crime, so basically he's assuming his customer is a criminal without *any* evidence; and (2) that a person is a minor simply because they don't have ID on their person. When did the US become a country where people had to carry ID at all times or be considered criminals? Isn't that one of the ways we used to characterize a totalitarian country?

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                  The clerk has every right to assume that; it's his job to not sell alcohol to minors. If the OP had no interest in the alcohol, why did she come into the store? She's not someone's child who's too young to stay in the car.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yes, there are times in life when ID is 100% necessary. If I go to the library, I don't need to prove I'm over 21. If I go to the fabric store, I don't need to prove I'm 21. If I go to the farmer's market, I don't need to prove I'm over 21. If I go to a casino, bar or liquor store, I DO need to be able to prove I'm 21.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  People don't need to carry ID at all times. They DO need to carry ID when they're attempting to participate in an age-restricted activity. How is this not common sense?

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm with Vino on this, I don't understand how the isse of discrimination even entered into this at all, unless it's discrimination against people without ids. No one is forcing you to carry id at all times, only when you want to engage in activities that require proof of age to participate in!

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Erika L

                                                                                                                                                                                                -----Sorry, I think you were in the wrong for failing to show ID, and then getting upset because the store refused to overlook this.-----

                                                                                                                                                                                                Erika, are you really saying that you would not be a little annoyed at this situation if it were you?

                                                                                                                                                                                                The fact that I drank in the establishment and that I wasn't even buying the alcohol (I could have just as easily waited in the car, had I known) and then they wouldn't sell it to my fiancee wouldn't irk you just a little?

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Melanie

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I might have been annoyed at your age, which is long ago in my rear view mirror at this point. Bottom line, no matter why my reaction or response, is that it is my fault for failing to bring ID. Period. Them's the rules. Just because the store bent them before doesn't mean they have to bend them again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  As for having a sample in the store, as has been discussed in other posts, it could well have been a vendor who offered them, not the store itself--in fact, I'd be surprised if it weren't a vendor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Is it human to be irked, annoyed, upset, angry? Yes. Is that response reasonable? That's what we're debating here. Is it the store's fault? No. Laws aren't logical, or fair, or reasonable. But they are the law, like it or not.

                                                                                                                                                                                              3. This reminds me of one of my most frustrating experiences. A cashier in Napa Valley wouldn't sell me cigarettes because I had an out-of-state ID. I said "isn't this a tourist destination; doesn't everyone have an out-of-state ID??" She wouldn't budge. Oh, and I was nearly 30 at the time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: denverkate

                                                                                                                                                                                                  This had nothing to do with your out of state license. No one in Napa thinks anyone should smoke and they turn their thinking into action at every opportunity. ;-D

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. I work for the court system, so I have a pretty black and white point of view on this and I don't mean to be harsh. If you go anywhere in public ALWAYS bring your ID- my reasons are numerous and completely off topic. Better yet, if your state allows it, get an ID card and a license. Yeah we all have our stories as to policies, laws, inconsistent practices, etc. but the bottom line is to take responsibility for yourself first, then being carded or not will be a non issue.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Like Soupkitten above, I live in a college town, which is a large part of why the idea of carding everyone in the party seems so normal to me. For my experience, I always assume that the member of the party who can't produce ID is under age in situations like the one the OP describes. We really do have to look at this from the liquor store's perspective - it varies from state to state, but as others have said the store clerk and/or manager would be the ones facing big fines and loss of job/career if they sold alcohol to someone underage. It seems that the OP unwittingly set herself up in a situation that looked an awful lot like a law enforcement sting. If you were the store clerk, and you had to choose between potentially upsetting a couple of people or losing your job and a lot of money, which would you choose? It's annoying, unfair, and raises a lot of questions about our legal system, but the store clerk was only protecting her butt, and it's hard to blame her for that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mpjmph

                                                                                                                                                                                                      "It's annoying, unfair, and raises a lot of questions about our legal system, but the store clerk was only protecting her butt, and it's hard to blame her for that."

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Totally agreed. There are loads of laws which people deem petty and annoying at times (bike helmets, cell phones while driving, personal marijuana use etc), but until someone changes it, the law's the law.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I work in the criminal justice system. There are some more minor things that a colleague or two might turn a blind eye to that I wouldn't (while i'm not a police officer, I lean more towards the Sgt. Angel approach of things, just a little shout out to one of my favorite movies btw ). Same goes for anyone in any job.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      The OP obviously was served by a particularly vigilant clerk, maybe one who'd been burned in the past. I can't blame them for covering their butt either. Annoying maybe, yes. I was annoyed and upset that time I got stopped by police because they thought I was someone else, and I didn't have my insurance cards with me, and had to bring them into the station later. But i'd sure rather police be checking for insurance and ID when they do things, than do otherwise if it means there are less unlicensed and uninsured drivers on the roads. Same goes for this situation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I actually had this happen at a grocery store when I was 28! I ran into a friend who was shopping and wound up in line w/ him. He had literally $100 worth of groceries, almost all food and household goods, with one or maybe two sic-packs. (Basically, a standard weeks worth of groceries.) I had a few things, no alcohol. He had ID, but they carded me as well, as were talking and seemed "together" though we had separate purchases. I literally had left mine at home as I had just run out for a couple of things and didn't drive there. They refused to let him buy the beer and he got cranky and left all his groceries there. At the time that seemed like a reasonable reaction of outrage - now, 10 years later, I would be more understanding. They probably had recently been the target of a sting. (Plus, I would love to be carded now!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: meg944

                                                                                                                                                                                                        This topic just keeps going on and on. I've chimed in earlier but just have to try once more to see if anyone has any specific legal basis on which (I'm in California) the state insists that the seller of alcohol must be sure that anyone who appears to be with the purchaser is also of age.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I get the idea that the seller wants to be sure they're not tangentially responsible for a minor being served, but some of the examples (like meg944's) seem really quite absurd.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        In checking California's ABC site I find absolutely nothing that suggests that legal responsibility on a retailer seller. In the shop I owned I sold wine retail and also had a tasting bar that was cordoned off. No one under 21 could enter the tasting area and I could not allow wine to be consumed outside it, but there was no problem with of-age customers bringing their kids into the retail area. I obviously didn't try to card 5 year-olds or even 15 year-olds in the retail area and (on the other side of it) the law did not permit even an infant in the tasting area.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        The state required carding of the purchaser (if they appeared to be under 30) and precluded anyone under-age from being within the service area. Nothing more. I was admonished (by law) to refuse wine service to anyone who appeared to be intoxicated and, by extension, I would be loathe to sell retail to someone who was obviously going to share with a minor, though (as I said) that does not appear to be part of the law. Awareness of the intent of the law would be the motivation there (and maybe some fear of overzealous enforcement), but there is no specific law on that to my knowledge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Midlife

                                                                                                                                                                                                          That made me remember that at sometime in December in the newly expanded wine and booze area of my closest huge and recently remodeled Kroger being offered a sample of Malibu Rum. To reach all ages it was alcohol free. Anyone could have a taste. Did I buy any? No of course not.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I remember (just about!) the days when I used to get asked for ID. You're lucky to look younger than your years, so don't rush time by!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Robin Joy

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm told I look much younger than my physical age, but it stinks that I'm rarely carded here in a university town. (groan)

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. It may seem excessive, but the store has the right to be paranoid. As others have said, it only takes one "mistake" to result in a large fine, loss of license, etc. But I agree with the other posters who said, "If it is store policy, than it should be the policy all the time for everyone."

                                                                                                                                                                                                          There is one grocery chain in my area that cards everyone for alcohol or cigarettes all the time, no matter how old you look. If DW is with me when I pick up a six then she is carded, too. Not a bad policy from the store's point and the clerks can't guess wrong.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          A few years back I was waiting in line at a mini mart when the girl in front of me got carded. She had a fit, ranting that she was almost 30 and couldn't believe she was being "picked on." I said to her, "When they stop carding you...that's when you start worrying." At least three other people in line said, "You got that right, pal."

                                                                                                                                                                                                          10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: al b. darned

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Since this thread seems to touch on what we see as excesses of the law I was wondering if anoyne out there has ever experianced either of the two situations below. I have frieds who have claimed both (not the same friends for each one) but to me these seem so out there as to be apocraphyl.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Situation One: On friedn of midne claims that, in the town she lived in, there was a resturuant that too the "no liquor to minors" policy to such extremes that not only could people under 21 not be served alchol, they couldn't be served food if it was made with alchol. By resturaunt policy if you were under 21 you were not allowed to order anything with alcohol in it, no coq 'a vin, no penne al vodka, no beer-battered anything (fish, shrimp, chicken).

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Situation 2: a (different) friend of mine was leaving a store with some bottles of beer and heading to his car, Parked next to his car was a police officer in his car. While putting the bottles in his car my friedn dropped the bag and one of the bottles hit the ground and began to spurt. my friend retrtive the bottle and saw it was not broken, the cap and just dented and broken the seal. since the beer was a fairly expensive one and he was planning to use it right away anyway (he was making beer cheese) he simply wrapped some plastic around the top (so it wouln't leak on his upolstery on the way home) close up got in and turned on the iginition. The moment he pulled out the poice car pulled out after him flashing it's lights and motioning for him to stop. when my friend did and pulled down the window, the officer proceeded to issue him with a ticket and a very hefty fine for "driving with an open bottle of alcohol in the vehicle" (or however the law states that infraction)
                                                                                                                                                                                                            so either of these ever happened to anyone?

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Both depend on the specifics of the law in that particular jurisdiction, but:

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1) the alcohol in just about every recipe I've ever seen evaporates during the cooking process and would have no intoxicating effect on the diner. I vaguely recall reading something allowing it in California law but I can't be totally positive since some of this state's (if not others) alcohol laws defy logic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2) while it might seem unfair to ticket the guy, carrying an opened container of an alcoholic beverage in the passenger compartment of a car (actually it says other than "in the trunk of the vehicle, or kept in some other area not normally occupied by the driver or passengers") is against the law in California and likely in other states as well. The law's the law. One would presume it's purpose is to ensure that alcohol is not consumed by anyone in a moving vehicle (for obvious reasons). Laws that presume the worst in people are always harder to understand.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              California also has a law that makes it illegal for a FastTrak (toll road/bridge toll) transponder to be used anywhere else in a vehicle than mounted in a specific position on the inside of the windshield. I've never been able to figure that one out or get any kindof explanation for it..... but it's the law and you can be ticketed for placing it anywhere else or, heaven forbid, keeping it in your console and holding it up when you go through the sensor. Go figure. What about us anal, obsessive compulsives who don't want to put that ugly thing on our windshields?? We deserve some love too!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Situation 1 is pretty stupid and lame.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Situation 2, while crappy, falls squarely on your friend. The cop was parked right next to him and he drove off with a bottle of beer that had been opened. If was leaking enough that the cop was able to know it was leaky, it was clearly opened. I understand not wanting to pitch it if it was good beer and you were going to drink it immediately, but why not put it in your trunk? I'd probably be a bit more understanding if the cop was out of view, but if he was parked right next to him how did he not think to put it in the trunk?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: pollymerase

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Actually, I think he did put it in the trunk (my mistake of memory), the cop's postion was that one the bottle was opened by the drop, the law required my friend to throw the whole thing out on the spot, money loss or no. But I see your point about the law being the law, and it oftten being desing to be unfair on purpose (I've sometimes felt that at least a few laws are purposely written so that not breaking them is logically impossible, to maximize civic profits from fines) on my presonal side was as follows. the area in which I lived passed a law that required all glass bottles to be recycled, having one found in you garbade resulted in a fine. that's fine and fair. The problem was that the recycling bins were only supposed to be filled with those bottles that the center could recycle, putting bottles in that couln't be recycled by the center also was finable (this was to prevent epole doing dangerous things like putting broken bottles in, which were acceable to throw out). All well and good so far, my clear, green, and brown bottles went in the bin unless they were broken and all was right so far. the proablem came with those things I drank that came in bottles that were blue glass (Ty nant water, Sourouti, Satatoga etc.) I wasn't allowed to throw them out becuse they were glass, I wasnt allowed to recycle them, becuse the center (BTW this was the county recycling center, not a private one, so they had had a hand in the law) Have the facilites for blue glass recycling. I called many times to ask what to do. Most of the people said they were baffled. At least one (very nasty) guy basically told me that I deserved to be fined for failing to alter my purchasing desries to conform with the centers needs (basically that since I knew the recycling center didnt recycle blue glass, I should never buy or cosume anything sold in blue glass, and that if I did so, I deserved to be repeatedly punished with fines.) Thank goodnes the situation resolved it self eventually (basically one arizona stated putting some of their products in blue glass and once Ty nant and other such waters became so much more mainstream the Recyling center stared accepting blue glass, since it now recived a volume sufficient to make the recycling practicable. Now I just worry about the next attempt to have it required that garbage bags be transaprent (I have no problem with that per se, I just want a cluage to allow small opaque bags to be put in the big transparent one for particluary disturbing or disgusting garbadge (such as used and occupied mousetraps)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Wow, if he put it in the trunk that really stinks. I don't really understand the logic/reasoning for the ticket since he would be unable to consume the open container since it was in the trunk. Sounds like the cop was definitely a hardass.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: pollymerase

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Simple. The logic is that you'd have to be outside the car to get into the trunk so you wouldn't be driving and wouldn't be breaking the law just by doing that. The fact that you could then get back in the car and drive is no different than any other drink then drive situation. This particular law's intent is to make sure you're not drinking and driving AT THE SAME TIME. In California it's also illegal for a passenger to be drinking..... presumably because you could share.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Midlife

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Can you not transport a bottle of wine that has been opened, then? In my state you can, as long as it is out of the arms reach of the driver. Since that seems a bit subjective, we've always went with the trunk.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: pollymerase

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Peraps your state's different than mine, but in MA it must be sealed in a stapled bag/self-sticking bag. If the seal has been compromised it's considered an open container. The bottle could be on the driver's lap as long as it's sealed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: pollymerase

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            In California: "you'd have to be outside the car to get into the trunk so you wouldn't be driving and wouldn't be breaking the law...." You CAN transport it, but NOT in the passenger compartment of the car (where it can be reached).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Situation 1: Silly and Stupid as (pollymerase) opined.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Situatiom2: As I suggested early on in this thread, the police do not always get it right. I do not know the age of your friend (jm), but with age comes experience and knowledge. The police officer was obviously a prick and knew very well your buddy did not consume any of the beer from the bottle that was dropped. In any instance you do not agree with any police officer, immediately demand the police officer request the tour police commander or supervisor to come to the scene. Insist a police report be made noting the facts why the officer originally decided to pull you over and and his complete account for his actions. If he or the supervisor refuse....you have grounds for a very good defense. There is a lot of opinion that police have better things to do than write up civilian complaints, but I can tell you it is your right as a citizen to file a report and it is the police officers duty and they are required to follow through with your request as a civil service worker. For you doubter who will follow, I can tell you I have been successful for citing police officers for official misconduct for refusal to perform their obligated duties.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    If you were to fight this situation, I m sure any judge would dismiss the case with the facts known contained in the police report.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. My husband is a Valentine's baby. This past Friday, two days before his 21st birthday, we were out grocery shopping and picked up a bottle of TGIFriday's Pina Colada mixer. After we finished at the grocery, we went to a nearby Wine & Spirits to pick up a bottle of Vodka for our mixer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I am 22 and we have been married for a little over a year. We both went into the store and browsed around for a little and made our final selection. I was obviously paying for the Vodka, and my husband stood behind me at the counter; I had my Visa card and my ID out and ready. I was then taken aback when the clerk asked if we BOTH had our ID. My husband had his driver's license with him, but of course he wasn't 21....for another 2 days. The clerk checked my ID; Fine. Then my husband handed him his; ERRRR, wrong. The clerk said he could not sell me the Vodka because my husband was not 21 and that since we were in there together, they could only assume we would share the Vodka "and talk about it." So Mr. Clerk took the bottle from me and we left empty handed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I was thoroughly annoyed for the remainder of the evening. I couldn't go into a liquor store with my OWN HUSBAND and buy a bottle of Vodka? I kept thinking about the woman who walked into the store right before we did; she had a little girl holding her hand who couldn't have been more than 6yrs old. She was allowed to buy booze....but not me? How did they even know if that little girl belonged to the woman? This just didn't make sense to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Though, I feel we had some things against us: For one, this particular Wine & Spirits was right on the outskirts of the city. Two, we are younger people, therefore, more suspicious an hour before closing on a Friday night. They most likely thought we were two young kids going to a party and picking up some cheap Vodka to share. Ha, not even close. Little do they know, neither me, or my husband, has ever been to a party nor ever been drunk. We just wanted a nice, quiet evening at home cuddled on the sofa with a good movie.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thankfully, we won't have to worry about such instances any longer since my hubby turns 21 tomorrow! Maybe we'll go back and visit the same Wine & Spirits :P

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  42 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: trinitynatay

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    When he said "and talk about it", you know he meant turn him in to the authorities, didn't you? They do major stings all the time here by me, using people who are almost of age, and when you get caught, you lose your liquor license, pay a fine AND get written up on the front page of the newspaper like dirt bags. So worth the loss of a sale to him, unfortunately. At least as of today you don't have to worry about it anymore.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: trinitynatay

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This has been covered in the posts above, but it doesn't matter if it's "YOUR HUSBAND" you're purchasing alcohol with. Anyone near/at legal drinking age in a liquor store should be prepared for his/her identification to be checked. You and your husband were together. Why would the clerk not think the vodka was for both of you?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The little girl is obviously not going to be drinking. I've seen parents with older children be refused a sale if the children weren't over 21. It's all about liquor stores protecting themselves. I'm sure you can understand that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Whatever happened to the old "please wait in the car while I buy sweetie." Seems so simple. This is not a new idea, performed weekely in the early 70's. Kids today seem so entitled somethimes that they have no imagination,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Seriously. There are so many ways to get around this!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            "There are so many ways to get around this!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Which is why it's an absurd law which makes people have no respect for it (which breeds even more contempt for the law than we have now). The law should not allow or call for liquor store clerks to become the Amazing Kreskin.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            So someplace between coming in with an infant in your arms up to some undefined age that no one really knows you are allowed to buy liquor leagally if you are a. 21 or over and b. in the company of a minor. But at some tipping point, now you can't. Yeah. That makes sense. NOT.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              No one said it made sense, hence the obvious confusion and strong opinions here. Again, it's liquor stores protecting themselves from stings and liability. Some stores have stricter policies than others. If the policy bothers you so much, patronize a lenient store (until it gets shut down).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I don't want to patronize a (more) lenient store. I want the asinine law stricken from the books by lawmakers who can understand what makes logical sense and what does not (or have the courts do it for them if they don't have the political courage or brains to do it themselves).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Two young adults enter a liquor store and browse together. A bottle of alcohol is chosen and brought to the checkout, again together. The cashier is supposed to assume it's not for both of them? I would've acted exaclty as the cashier did.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "The cashier is supposed to assume it's not for both of them?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    There should not be any law on the books that causes liquor store checkers to have to assume anything.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It's not up to us to decide what "should" be a law on the books, is it? It's the law. If it's not followed, employees are fined or fired, and stores are closed. I like my local liquor stores; I'm glad they follow the law.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "It's not up to us to decide what "should" be a law on the books, is it?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Who, us? Us citizens? Why then, yes...yes it is for us to decide. Idiotic laws breed idiotic prosecutions that quickly feel like persecutions to those being (poetically licensed phrase to follow) tied to the stake and lit on fire. Citizens need to vote out the idiots who make or won't change idiotic laws and vote in ones that actually seem to have a brain.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          This law isn't going anywhere. Liquor laws are only getting more stringent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Stringent laws aren't the issue. A law that asks clerks to be mind readers is (or ask that people take actions like not standing in the check out line with their husband - or been seen with him walking around the store perhaps - if he happens to under the age of 21 and they are buying liquor) a bad law that people will feel no impunity about violating. That is a bad law that is, on the face of it, unconstitutional because it violates due process.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              But isn't the exact purpose of asking for ID to make sure someone is 21 so the clerk doesn't have to be a mind reader and/or make some type of judgment call?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm confused what a suitable alternative would be. Lower the drinking age? You still have the same problem with someone who is almost of age.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: pollymerase

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The person who was 21 (in this instance) and was purchasing the liquor, happened to be with her husband who was still 20. The clerk refused to sell her the booze due to the potential that she would/might be "sharing" it with her husband later. If she and her husband had acted like strangers in the store until after the liquor was purchased then they could have gone on their merry way with the vodka. If that makes sense to you I have a bridge in NY I'd like to sell you. ;-D>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It makes perfect sense to me, actually. Perhaps that is because I've been a server and bartender. We were made well aware of the consequences of serving someone under age. Not worth risking getting fined and/or fired over. The law simply has to draw the line somewhere.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And no, I do not want to buy your bridge =)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: pollymerase

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    This isn't about someone sharing a drink in a bar with someone underage. This is about the law making the clerk "guess" that after the over 21 and the under 21 husband and wife leave the liquor store / market that they "might" both drink said booze. If the husband had simply stayed in the car, that's okay. If the husband had entered the store separately from his wife and pretended not to know her until "after" the sale was complete, that's okay. But if they stand in the checkout line together, never mind that the person buying liquor has proper I.D. and is over 21, that's NOT okay. Idiotic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It is so simple, if you are not 21, do not go to the register. If you go to the register you are deemed to be a co-purchaser. You guys have all assumed that the clerk is assuming that the 21 will share with the 20. It is way more simple than that. You go to the register you get proofed. Pretty simple..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Okay. So the husband follows the wife at the register with his own purchase of Ho Hos and he puts one of those little plastic divider things in between his Ho Hos and his wife's vodka and he doesn't talk to her while they stand in line. Would they still sell to the wife? How many idiotic angels can do the jerk on the head of that pin?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The list of laws and regulations that can be argued as silly are long, starting with 21 as the age of drinking. But if that husband is buying 2 Ho's right after his wife buys some vodka, they got some problems. Unless your last name is Spitzer. :-))

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            If the store stocks those sorts of items I doubt that liquor laws are the biggest problem they've got (law wise).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            But the fact that the wife could come in with her 5 year old son in a stroller and buy liquor, but would be turned away if she were with her 20 year old husband means that the law is violating the due process amendment of the US Constitution, and hence is unconstitutional.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Totally disagree with your Con Law analysis.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The 14th amendment's Equal Protection Clause requires states to provide equal protection under the law to all people within their jurisdictions. So if it is legal for a mother to buy liquor in the company of her underage child it would be legal for her to buy the same liquor in the company of her underage husband.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sorry, waaaay too broad and literal an interpretation. Agree to disagree.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Too broad? Exactly what they were intended to be. Amendments are meant to be broad and provide a wide swath of protection for individual rights from the intrusion of government. The founders feared government a lot more than they feared the people of our country. They didn't want the government sticking its nose in where it doesn't belong. So for the law to try and have an unstated age range for when it's okay for over 21's to buy liquor in the company of minors and then all of sudden it's not okay (all at the discretion of a checker) then the government has overstepped its authority and is violating the equal protection law. If you can give me some example of why you don't think this is true I'd be interested in reading it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Servorg


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      in this case, it's not the government....it's the discretion of the store. As a private business, they can set any policies they feel they need to conduct business in a safe environment, The fact is the OP could not verify her age.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: fourunder

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Not the OP's post being discussed here. There was a later contribution (just upstream a bit) by a young woman who tried to buy vodka with her 20 year old husband in tow (and she had her DL which showed her to over 21) and the market/liquor store refused on the basis of State law.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        here it is: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5835...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: fourunder

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            No worries. It's not easy keeping these multi-hundred post long threads straight. I just find it passing strange that the State can have a law that really treats someone as a potential criminal (they would be guilty of contributing to the delinquency of a minor if they were caught giving them alcohol) without ever having actually committed the crime. Kind of bassackward to the way the legal system works in the US.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It is your interpretation that jfood thinks is too broad, not the drafting, since it was put in place in response to Dred Scott and the Civil War.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        If you truly believe that the Due Process Amendment was put in place to protect the rights of an underaged 20 year old versus the protection of leaving a 4 year old in the car then jfood cannot get to anywhere close to agreeing. Again need to agree to disagree.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "...the rights of an underaged 20 year old versus the protection of leaving a 4 year old in the car..."


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Your argument was that the 21-20 were denied due process versus the mommy-kid. Jfood believes that in that A vs B, the due process claim would not only be thrown out, it would be laughed out of court. The idea that using an amendment to the constitution to protect minority rights, marriage rights and other serious injustices can be extrapolated to hiding behind a mother making sure here kid is safe instead of leaving alone in the car is just not an argument that has any merit IMO.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I am not sure where I said anything about leaving the kid in the car? I was referring to the fact that a 21 year old mom can take her youngster INTO the store with her and buy vodka without a problem. But if she takes her underage husband INTO the same store she will be denied the right to purchase that same bottle of vodka. Unequal treatment under the law.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Good luck in chasing shadows.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I understand that you don't agree. Just wondered why? Do you not think it's unequal treatment? Or do you think that's okay to treat the two situations differently for some reason?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    OK let's try this for some food for thought. If there is a law that states that noone can be at the register that is under 21 then there is a law. But as an accomodation, versus a discriminatory or due process claim, states allow for the mother with child to purchase the liquor keeping in mind for the "greater good" (in this case leaving the child in the car unattended) then jfood has absolutely no problem with that accomodation. Does it rise to the level of a 14th amendment due process claim? so far over the line you cannot see it in the rear view mirror. Hope that helps and jfood enjoyed the back and forth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "But as an accomodation, versus a discriminatory or due process claim, states allow for the mother with child to purchase the liquor keeping in mind for the "greater good" (in this case leaving the child in the car unattended) then jfood has absolutely no problem with that accomodation."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      States have tried making "accommodation" claims before in the areas of things like "separate but equal" and the courts have handed them their collective legal heads because the courts saw and understood an "end run" when it was being attempted. So I strongly doubt that, having two completely unequal legal treatments of the same transaction, is going to fly like anything but a lead balloon - even if the State tries claiming they are doing it for some nebulous "accommodation" argument.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I too enjoy a good "logic" tussle and find it stimulating to my rapidly aging brain. Maybe this is what will help stave off my "brain stents" for a couple of more years?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Jfood truly doubts Plessy and Dred Scot are coming back any time soon but likewise he does not believe the baby in hands rises to the SBE bucket.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        You and he probably agree that the enforcement of the law is stupid (heck 21 vs 18 is stupid IMO) and with every liquor store with a video camera, everyone would know who the purchaser is. Heck in Jfood's town $5 to the cab driver atthe train station plus the COGS and a 24 pack of beer in in the hands of every teen in town.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              this is why all victimless crime laws should be repealed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Exactly. Someone who lost their driving privileges for DWI can buy liquor with a passport, but a 40 and a 20 year old walk in together, they can't. Can't make this stuff up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Just a quick comment related to the lengthy upthread discussion. I didn't read it all closely, but if it wasn't mentioned already it should be said that, due to the wording of the 23rd Amendment (repeal of prohibition), state alcohol laws have a special constitutional status, and that special status may explain why those alcohol beverage laws seem to be more insulated from other constitutional protections that have been discussed (due process and so on) as they apply to all other laws. Basically what it boils down to is the states can legislate any fool thing they want related to alcoholic beverages and pretty much get away with it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: johnb

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Guess we're lucky alcohol is even legal, unlike lots of other things. As long as you're of age, it's a dependable pleasure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Constitutional law is pretty far afield for Chowhound, so we're going to close this thread.