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Jul 18, 2011 08:25 PM

Carded in our Mid 50s!

My husband and I (both in our mid-50s) went to a brand-new chain restaurant that just opened in Downingtown and ordered a drink. Our waitress very seriously asked if we had ID. We both laughed and then she was serious and that they "card everyone." We were taken aback, but did produce our ID. Now this would have been flattering and even funny 20 years ago, but being asked by a 20 something to show ID when we are CLEARLY over 21 is demeaning and insulting. We e-mailed the restaurant last night and received a very nice response confirming that this is, in fact, their company policy. We won't be going back.

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  1. Why not name the restaurant? If it's that offensive I assume you'd want to clearly warn or tell others of their policy...

    15 Replies
    1. re: sockii

      You're right - Buffalo Wild Wings!

      1. re: LittleDowell

        We were carded at BWW recently, and one woman, looking every bit of 60, didn't have id on her (she came directly from tennis with a group of women) and they refused to serve her. Kind of silly.

        1. re: jeanmarieok

          Not silly. In case of a lawsuit, statements of an incident such as this can be used as proof of a consistent, longstanding, nationwide policy.

          1. re: Cathy

            Virtually every other western country in the would would find this scenario so intensely absurd as to be downright laughable.

            It really is a case of going through the looking glass... when we adhere to the letter of the law this closely, we lose sight of the real reasons why these laws were enacted in the first place.

            It's like when my father adopted all the varied and unusual rules of Orthodox Judaism. It took him years to finally understand that it's not the performing of the actions but the spirit in which they are enacted that makes one a religious person.

            If all you do is walk lock-step to the rules, you're not religious-- you're a zealot.

            Mr Taster

              1. re: hill food

                Quite honestly, I'm a bit surprised that most people on this thread seem to be fine with the absurdity of it all.

                Mr Taster

                1. re: Mr Taster

                  it is absurd - but in the grand scheme of things - is it worth getting your knickers in a bunch over?

                  1. re: Mr Taster

                    Oh I think everyone posting here would agree with it all being absurd- especially the state to state antiquated and confusing liquor laws. However absurd, most folks understand that business owners sometimes need to make decisions that allow for them to function in the most effective and less libelous way overall. Absurd or not.

                2. re: Mr Taster

                  I don't always carry my passport around with me. I do have my healthcare card, but don't know if that is valid ID outside Québec. I don't really have a lot of "official" identification. (I always keep my passport valid for that reason).

                  I've never been carded here in my life.

              2. re: jeanmarieok

                I would never, ever leave the house without ID. What if there was an accident and they needed to quickly identify me?

                1. re: Fowler

                  good point Fowler, even with ID in the car, a friend was a 'Jane Doe' for a few days 2 years ago (no alcohol involved but you can imagine how much longer it would have taken and how much worse ti might have been before she was found comatose in an ICU - eventually happy endings, I'm not being Cpt. Bringdown tonight) so take that ID!

                  when I get carded by somebody half my age at a store I dead pan "c'mon dude, be COOL!, it's for my Mom and she gets real MEAN if we let her sober up!"

                  1. re: Fowler

                    I had a friend that was told by a cop here in NY it was against the law to not carry ID, although that was in the 1970s. Not sure if he got arrested, but I always make sure to have it on me, for various reasons.

                    1. re: Fowler

                      They'll look at your dental records. ;-)

                      1. re: Enigma3

                        Not exactly instantaneous, but better than nothing I guess.

                  2. re: LittleDowell

                    BW3 might have been good 20 years ago it is a dump now. I stopped going when they dropped weck from the menu.

                    I was recently carded at a store and a restaurant when I ordered a beer and laughed at the clerk. I was with my daughter and she was 25 at the time so obviously I am well beyond 21. I previously hadn't been carded since 1990

                2. I think you are overreacting. It's not demeaning and insulting, it's the law. You should be prepared to show ID any time you order alcohol. If you dont want to produce ID, don't drink.

                  35 Replies
                  1. re: twyst

                    I have seen this selectively at different establishments, including at Wegman's, and of all places Chicago O'Hare airport. I was with my boss and his eighty year old mother, and they even carded her. It makes the insurance companies happy I am sure.

                    1. re: cwdonald

                      Every bar in every airport in the US cards everyone.

                      1. re: mtoo

                        I've never been carded at Logan Aiport and neither has DH.

                        1. re: Isolda

                          I havent been carded at any airports recently..

                          I was carded at Yankee stadium Friday night, at the Paul McCartney concert..I was annoyed I couldnt get a beer, because I didnt have id...but I kind of get it.

                          At Shea stadium a few years ago - got really annoyed..
                          At the bars, they have a sign that says "Anyone not obviously over 40 will be id'd"

                          So, me and hubby wait on a half hour line, (at the time we were both just over 40) , get i'd, can't produce, and the lady yells to her boss "should I serve them? - THEY LOOK WELL OVER 40!!"
                          gee thanks lady!
                          and then the final insult = she didnt serve us!

                          1. re: NellyNel

                            that was a *bad* evening, I agree!

                          2. re: Isolda

                            I have, within the last few years. And I'm over 50! (btw, I don't mind it. After all, in an airport you always should have your ID on you anyway. And I kind of LIKE being carded:-)

                            1. re: pikawicca

                              Excuse me I meant to say State Law, as in Texas and Florida to cite 2 of the 24 States that currently have "Stop and Identify Laws"....sorry....

                              1. re: ospreycove

                                Well it's not the law in my state, thank God, so I'll continue to wander a ten block radius risking life and limb without an ID when I feel like it.

                                1. re: ospreycove

                                  Yeah, and those are going to go down in the Federal courts.

                                  1. re: pikawicca

                                    We speak about how unfair "stop and identify" laws are in the US, and are directed in a discriminatory way toward latinos, but on the flip side of the coin, when I live in Mexico I am required to have my FM2 visa in my posession at all times.

                                    1. re: Veggo

                                      I don't really give a flying fuck what they do in Mexico (or Germany, where you'd think they'd have have learned not to demand one's "papers.") I expect more of the USA.

                                      1. re: pikawicca

                                        I am by now accustomed to expect little from a country that dictates to me to where I cannot travel, i.e. Cuba. Screw 'em. And I look forward to posting more about the jewel of the Antilles, including the 2 newest restos at Marina Hemingway.

                                        1. re: pikawicca

                                          Germany has a much lower DUI rate than the USA , by asking for proof of age they are protecting life. I cannot comment on Mexico's experience.

                                          1. re: ospreycove

                                            Is there any evidence to support the idea that a requirement to present ID lowers DUI rates? Any? It seems to me there could be a number of factors that influence DUI rates.

                                            1. re: ospreycove

                                     Germany, if you get caught drinking and driving, you go to jail for a year and you never drive again. Period. The Krauts don't mess around with lengthy court proceedings, counseling, rehab, 1st offense, 2nd offense, etc. One time and you're done. Understand, this is a kultur that love's it's booze. When people go to the bar, they either walk or hire a car. I think that has a lot to do with the low DUI rate.

                                                1. re: flavrmeistr

                                                  in France, they take your car on the first offense. Similarly, no arguing.

                                                  And legal limit is .05 -- so while there will always be offenders, most folks toe the line.

                                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                                    "in France, they take your car on the first offense. Similarly, no arguing. And legal limit is .05"

                                                    I would imagine most tourists do not know that. A few years ago we and two other couples toured the Southern Rhone wineries. The person that was driving was not drunk "drunk" but may have been at .05.

                                                    Thanks for the warning.

                                                  2. re: flavrmeistr

                                                    In my experience (stationed over in Germany for 3 years), that's not entirely accurate because it depends on the definition of "drinking and driving." I know of MANY U.S. Servicemembers who were pulled over by the German polizei, administered a breathalyzer and blew around around a .05 - .08, and who just received an "infraction" or ticket from the German authorities but were then more severely punished by the U.S. military. Generally speaking, it takes a higher BAC for German officials to consider it "drinking and driving."

                                                    1. re: mjhals

                                                      As we have had a large military presence in Germany since the end WWII, my guess is the local authorities leave the punishment of US military personnel to the US military authorities if there is no harm to a German citizen involved. It may be different for non-citizen civillians as well. A friend of mine worked for Seimens over there for about two years. He told me one of his American colleagues was immediately deported and barred from reentry for a charge of drunk driving. Like I said, they don't **** around.

                                                      1. re: flavrmeistr

                                                        The US military is exceedingly strict about alcohol among the military personnel. There's a military base in Afghanistan that's being shared by the US and German militaries. The US side is completely dry. The Germans deliver free beer to their soldiers. Any US soldier who accepts an alcoholic drink is court-martialed.

                                                        Incidentially enough, many of the German soldiers also have long hair and a general "unkempt" appearance. The sight would make their Prussian ancestors weep with shame.

                                                        1. re: Roland Parker

                                                          Agreed about the military being strict about alcohol, and you're right, there is absolutely no alcohol permitted in our CENTCOM (Middle East) theaters. There's a General Order (GO #1) prohibiting alcohol, sex, porn and civilian clothes in theater.

                                                          But you generally won't get court-martialed for a violation, instead you're looking at what's called "non-judicial" punishment- essentially an Article 15 or a reprimand. Still, it's enough to ruin a career and cost some fines and hard labor.

                                                          It's not an easy 15 months, and I personally think the general public at times loses sight of the sacrifices our military makes.

                                                  3. re: ospreycove

                                                    I have never been asked for ID in Germany if I wanted a drink with dinner.

                                              1. re: ospreycove

                                                Stop and identify laws though typically require one to identify oneself, not to produce documentation of that identification. I think...

                                                1. re: debbiel

                                                  This generalization of "Stop and Identify" is a little nebulous in its application; as state laws are written by the individual state representatives. So they vary in application from state to state.In some states , truthful verbal response is enough in others "official documents" are needed, drivers license, state issued i.d., National passports, etc.

                                                  1. re: ospreycove

                                                    Which states are those Ospreycove? I ask genuinely, as I have read up a bit on this and not seen that. Even with the Arizona law, which is abhorrent in my opinion, I don't think there is an obligation for US citizens to present identification, only to identify one's name. That said, in practice, I'm sure people are wrongfully pressured into presenting identification.

                                                    1. re: debbiel

                                                      debbiel, This is a quick overview.
                                                      Variations in “stop and identify” laws
                                                      Four states’ laws (Arizona, Indiana, Nevada, and Ohio) explicitly impose an obligation to provide identifying information.
                                                      Fifteen states grant police authority to ask questions, with varying wording, but do not explicitly impose an obligation to respond:
                                                      In Montana, police “may request” identifying information;
                                                      In 13 states (Alabama, Delaware, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Utah, Wisconsin), police “may demand” identifying information;
                                                      As confusing as the non-conformity of state laws seem to be. The asking/demanding of proof of age for alcohol sales is somewhat related to the Stop and i.d. laws of that state

                                                      1. re: ospreycove

                                                        Thanks ospreycove, though that's the same info I have. What I have read on the 4 states that impose an obligation to provide identifying info is that it is NOT a requirement that the identifying info be in the form of an official document. It can be, "my name is ____"

                                                        1. re: debbiel

                                                          Some selected citations from :

                                                          "...Noncompliance with a “stop and identify” law that does not explicitly impose a penalty may constitute violation of another law, such as one to the effect of “resisting, obstructing, or delaying a peace officer”." --- (my words next) which may lead to an arrest or detention at the least.

                                                          "...It is not universally agreed that, absent a “stop and identify law”, there is no obligation for a detainee to identify himself. For example, as the U.S. Supreme Court noted in Hiibel, California’s “stop and identify” statute was voided in Kolender v. Lawson. But in People v. Long,[36] decided four years after Kolender, a California appellate court found no constitutional impropriety in a police officer’s demand for written identification from a detainee."

                                                          "Some courts, e.g., State v. Flynn (Wis. 1979)[39] and People v. Loudermilk (Calif. 1987)[40] have held that police may perform a search for written identification if a suspect refuses to provide it; a later California decision, People v. Garcia (2006) strongly disagreed.[41]"

                                                          "Recommendations of legal-aid organizations

                                                          Some legal organizations, such as the National Lawyers Guild and the ACLU of Northern California, caution against refusing to identify oneself whether or not a jurisdiction has a “stop and identify” law:

                                                          And in any state, police do not always follow the law, and refusing to give your name may make them suspicious and lead to your arrest, so use your judgment. If you fear that your name may be incriminating, you can claim the right to remain silent, and if you are arrested, this may help you later. Giving a false name could be a crime.[42]

                                                          In a more recent pamphlet, the ACLU of Northern California go even further, recommending that a person detained by police

                                                          . . . give your name and the information on your drivers’ license. If you don’t, you may be arrested, even though the arrest may be illegal.[43] "


                                                          I think it is simpler to just carry your ID with you, unless you have something to hide.

                                                        2. re: ospreycove

                                                          weird, but when I'm in MO I get a 'window' to produce ID later. I can also pack heat with no permit if I so choose (I don't)

                                              2. re: mtoo

                                                I haven't been carded at an airport for years and years, even though I do occasionally get carded at bars outside of airports.

                                                I'm in my 40s. I do look young for my age but not THAT young. When I do get carded, I usually assume the server is trying to kiss up to me. And that's just fine. :)

                                                1. re: mtoo

                                                  The only bar in an airport where I'm carded is the Fox Sports Bar in the Houston airport (IAH). They card everyone.

                                            2. Would it have been less demeaning or insulting if the server was your age? Regardless, it appears to be a trend. I experienced it recently having dinner at the Charlotte airport. When I was carded I told the waitress that she made my day, only to see later a sign on the wall stating that they card EVERYONE. I saw no reason to take offence, nor should you; I'm sure your young server was only doing her job.

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: janniecooks

                                                No joke. What if the manager told her "card everyone, no excuses", or risk being fired. Really don't understand why this is a big deal.

                                                1. re: janniecooks

                                                  janniecooks, telling people they shouldn't feel a certain way never works. People feel what they feel. I have a few friends who don't like giving out their ages, especially when they are with their younger bf/gf. If the id is handled carelessly the other people with them could see their date of birth. For me personally this is a non-issue right now as I am trying to cut down on expenses, so water, iced tea or coconut milk are my beverages of choice but I can't help think of the shakespeare quote "the first thing we do, lets kill all the lawyers" Thanks for posting this Littledowell.

                                                  1. re: givemecarbs

                                                    if you're so worried about your younger bf/gf finding out your date of birth that you don't want to pull out your ID, there are more issues at play than just having a drink.

                                                    1. re: givemecarbs

                                                      pardon my error. of course you're right.

                                                  2. I'm a few years behind ya but never care about being carded. Makes me laugh sometimes. Some restaurants have that policy, no biggie. The servers are observed by management to ensure that they comply, they have no option to count wrinkles and decide that you pass.

                                                    Their wings are reasonably tasty and acceptable quality, the service brisk, and they have a good draught beer or two. Be a shame to discount a handy takeaway place over a reasonable policy.

                                                    1. I've certainly run into this before; often, at places that have had problems in the past and, as part of their remedy for their problems, has been required by the relevant regulators to adopt a policy of this sort.

                                                      I don't consider it insulting or demeaning.