Monday, January 10, 2005

I'll drink to that

The Liquor Licensing Authority has ruled that asking under 25 year-olds for identification is unreasonable and unlawful. The LLA has pointed out that selling booze to under 18s is illegal, not under 25s.

There is no law against 18 to 25 year-olds buying booze. A scheme started in Orkland a few years' ago suggested identifying anyone who looked under 25 to ensure they weren't under 18. Why was 25 used as the cut-off? Oh, it sounded like a nice round figure. This recommendation somehow snuck into dogma, becoming commonplace around the country.

The upshot of this was that anyone who could have passed as a 25 year-old was asked for ID. Those who didn't have ID were refused alcohol on the grounds that they might be 18. Is that clear?

For example: Late last year I (34 year-old) was at the Metro New World in Willis St with a friend (23 year-old). We each got a bottle of wine and went to the checkout. Even after presenting her 18+ card, she was refused the purchase (the automaton said her ID looked fake). I volunteered to buy it for her and was asked for ID too. I refused. "Do you really think I'm under 18?" I asked incredulously.

"That's not the point," the checkout robot said. "Anyone under 25 must be ID'd." I wasn't permitted to buy the wine until I showed them my drivers' licence. Through gritted teeth, I flicked my ID at the checkout crone and her supervisor. "No need to be rude," said the troll. "I'm just following policies and procedures." Ja, ich weiss. Seig Safety!

It is with no small satisfaction that the do-gooders and wowsers have been knocked back by the Liquor Licensing Authority's ruling. It's just a pity that some expensive lawyer had to argue in defence of common sense.