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Friday, July 02, 2010

End of Civilization Alert

I still get carded from time to time when I buy beer at a grocery store. At 42, I sort of enjoy it. Having lapped the legal age of drinking, I like to think I remain youthful-looking enough to pass for a 20-something. But maybe not:

Last year at a Nets game at the Izod Center, I went to buy sausages while my son, Jack, headed for the beer counter. Jack, who is in his early 40s and starting to gray, soon joined me in the sausage line, explaining his wallet was in the car and he couldn’t buy beer without an ID. After we got our food, I went to the beer line, showed my ID and left with two drafts. At halftime I headed back for another round, and this time a lady at the counter asked me to take my New York State driver’s license out of the plastic window in the wallet and hand it to her.

“Why?” I asked.

“To make sure it hasn’t expired.”

If my license had, in fact, expired, would that mean I was no longer 71? Would I then be, miraculously, too young to buy beer legally?
If someone born in the 1930s can be turned away from the concessions stand for trying to buy a $27 plastic glass of Budweiser, the world has gone mad.


  1. A similar thing happened while I was at the Great Divide Brewing tap room in Denver a couple of weeks ago. A man well past 60 years of age was denied service because his license had expired. Supposedly the Denver bars are famously strict on carding. Imagine traveling to Denver on a beer trip and being denied everywhere because of an expired license. The law is the law I guess.

  2. Almost two years ago we were at New Old Lompoc on 23rd with friends. My friend, who's in his mid 30s, was asked to leave because his state issued ID was expired. He doesn't drive, it's not a drivers license. He basically had to pay a fee to the state in order to be issued drinking rights at bars again.

    Just because it had expired, doesn't mean your age resets. I don't get it.

  3. I had some lady working at Safeway rip off the "change of address" sticker on my license, you know ones the DMV sends you when you move to stick over your old address. She wanted to make sure the name under the sticker matched the name on the sticker, even though DOB on the license was printed clear as day on the plastic piece with my face on it. I then had to repeat the DMV process of obtaining a new sticker.

  4. I'm pretty sure the reason for not accepting expired ID is to avoid them being used as fake IDs. I don't know that all states collect your expired ID when you renew, and even if they do, you could always "lose" your drivers license just before renewal time.

  5. This happened to me on my last (and final) visit to Belmont Station. My wife drove b/c I was planning on having a few, so I didn't bring my wallet. The exchange went something like this:

    Bartender: I.D.
    Me: Are you serious?
    Bartender: Yes.
    Me: I'm in here all the time.
    Bartender: I know.
    Me: You have personally served me several times.
    Bartender: I know.
    Me: I'm clearly over 21.
    Bartender: I know.

    He went on to explain that the OLCC was out and about that day and that they "have to" card everyone.

    Now, I don't know whether that is Belmont Station's general policy or simply their (over)reaction to OLCC activity that weekend. Either way, I'm not aware that this is actually required by law. As best I can tell, the requirement to card is governed solely by ORS 471.130, which states in part:

    All licensees and permittees of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, before selling or serving alcoholic liquor to any person about whom there is any reasonable doubt of the person’s having reached 21 years of age, shall require such person to produce one of the following pieces of identification... (emphasis added)

    At the end of the day, I put these things down to establishments either not adequately understanding the limits of their legal responsibilities, or having policies that accept the trade-off of a few pissed off customers for taking all subjective judgment out of the process.

  6. Safeway has always been anal. The clerk (SW 205th and TV highway)once made a guy buying beer call the friends in the car that dropped him off & have them come in so the clerk could card them.