Scanning drivers license when buying alcohol?

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    I bought a bottle of wine at Westwood Target yesterday and, even though I’m obviously old enough to be a legal drinker’s mother, I was asked for my ID. I pulled it out and the cashier scanned the barcode on the back into her register. WTF? I was perlexed at the time but didn’t object as the deed was done. Later I started to ponder on it some more and now I’m irritated. Does anyone consider this an invasion of privacy? Conversely, does anyone think this is an acceptable practice?

    I have not discussed w/ Target mgmt as this is a solicitation for opinions, not a rant.



    It’s possible during the holidays Target has the policy of “Scan everyone’s ID” and uses ID scanning software to make it easy for the clerks to get folks thru the line without having to think too hard about it.



    When I worked as a cashier, we often had to enter the birth dates of people who were obviously old enough to buy alcohol. The person is probably doing it to protect themselves, that way they won’t get in trouble for waiving anyone through. They almost always scan my ID, even though I’m quite certain I don’t look like I might be 20.



    An easy way to verify age. They also scan it if you buy cold medicine.

    It does seem like something you should be able to refuse and just have them check the date though?????



    @margL – thanks for the link to the handbook, that was interesting.

    I do worry that Target will utilize the information scanned for their own marketing purposes. I just emailed corporate headquarters to request confirmation that the information is used solely for age verification and that the data is not stored.



    This happened to my mum and I in October. We had just moved in and she wanted a bottle of wine to celebrate. They had to scan her drivers license, and since it was an out of state license it had to get a mgmt override. The cashier tried to enter in the birth date but it required him to scan it. Very time consuming.



    I am glad they are doing it, it will prevent/discourage underage kids from buying alcohol.

    While it can/still be done, making fake id’s, plus people of age buying the alcohol for underage kids. It is not that big of a deal.

    The new law being passed and everyone is worried about just that, well at least they are doing the right thing.



    They require the same for nicotine products. Never in my life has someone scanned my driver’s license until the Westwood Target.



    This is one of my pet peeves and it totally makes me cranky!

    Scanning a driver’s license, or even just asking for it automatically is bad policy for several reasons.

    First, it is disrespectful. The store/cashier is making an a priori assumption that you are attempting to buy a product illegally. It isn’t flattering to be mistaken for a young criminal.

    Second, it is an ID theft nightmare. The vendor has all the info on your license now potentially tied to your purchase history, debit card, etc, with no privacy policies or guarantee of how they will handle the data. This is worse than loyalty cards, where at least you might get a discount in exchange for your personal info.

    Finally, it is a policy designed to protect the store, not you or society at large. The store is simply trying to reduce its potential liability.

    There is no legal requirement for you to produce an ID much less allow them to scan it. The store is not required to ask for an ID either, it isn’t an airport or border crossing.

    If you are obviously of age, you should not be harassed. The staff should be smart enough to recognized that you are legal. Yes, there are borderline cases. The staff should double check when there is reasonable doubt, but that should be the exception rather than the rule.




    Scanning, well I don’t know. Checking everyone is very common. It takes the responsibility away from the server/cashier, to determine age visually. It also is a warning to anyone trying to “look” of age. I don’t mind the request. I understand the validity of that. Scanning is a bit more concerning.



    Chill out, people. You are being watched. Just relax and enjoy.



    and the watchers are being watched as well …

    there are actually two types of bar codes on state-issued driver’s licenses and ID cards:



    Shop locally. There’s lots of local smaller stores where wine can be purchased and they will check your ID, not scan it.


    Betty T

    Its a major responsiblity to the person making the sale. I used to be a bartender and I say “better to be sure than sorry”. Years ago we were told that one had to have legal I.D. on their person to be in a bar whether of age or not. I’d like to know if its a law. I would no way bartend now with newer laws and quotes on how many of what types a person can drink and become legally drunk. I’m all for the license scanning and against the new liquor sales law.



    Betty, you are correct on it being the law that bar customers need to have their ID pn them.

    For example, if I were a long time customer of yours, and you absolutely knew that I was of legal age, I, technically, would still have to have my ID on my person, and if a liquor inspector came in, and I didn’t have it on me, you and the bar could be heavily fined, and you’d probably lose your job.



    Betty T

    That’s what I was told back then. Customers liked to think I didn’t know what I was talking about.But then they didn’t like to get cut off after several hours either, friends were the worst. One guy said “You let me sit here and get drunk and now I have to go drive.” Customers used to 6 Pack each other (6 drinks in front of them) trying to get them drunk. About mid 80’s it went to only 2 drinks on the bar at one time. Less sales but a little less problems too.

    How you feeling Mike? Will you be back to Nickelsville this Saturday? I plan on taking lunch, maybe a little early as I’m having a dinner potluck for New Years Eve at 6:00pm.



    Hi Betty, not feeling very well right now.

    Not sure exactly when I’ll be back to Camp.





    I was just having this conversation a couple days ago about Target. The interesting part of this is that not all cashiers are 21 and over, and believe they can sell wine and beer at a retail level, underage. They never look at the photo on the I.D., they just scan it.

    That is what worries me. I am more scrutinized at the local bar than at Target.

    As far as the law states, you legally “can’t serve someone who is intoxicated, once they have been determined to be intoxicated”. Limits on drinks is done by the establishment for good reason.

    I’m always amazed at the lack of personal accountability when it comes to patrons blaming the establishment for over serving them.

    *twist my arm…..gulp*



    Hmmm interesting… guess a voter ID is not such a big deal then.



    Target corporate HQ has not deigned to respond to my inquiry (yet). I only bought the wine there because it was convienient as I was purchasing other items. I’ll make sure not to buy any more booze there as I don’t trust them not to use my information for marketing purposes.

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