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back to article You're barcoded: The sneaky under-25 route to compulsory ID

There has been much tabloid fury about recent reports that two Royal Marines, just back from the front line in Afghanistan, were refused entry to a pub because they only had military ID. Is this just a storm in a pint glass, or evidence of yet more subtle pressure by Government to persuade all of us that ID cards would be a good …

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Coat

so therefore

they are effectively raising the minimum age of alcohol consumption to 21 or 25... hmmm... interesting....

glad i'm well past that one... :P

Mine's the one with the library pass in the pocket

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Am I the only one

who doesn't see underage drinking (in moderation) as a bad thing? I would hope that pubs continue to accept fake IDs for 17-year-olds who want to enjoy a quiet pint. Far better that than have people out on the streets.

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Dead Vulture

No they didn't

"Yet more pressure was added this week, with the publication of Government advice suggesting that on health grounds, young people should consume no alcohol at all."

Young people? It said children under 15. The tenuous ID card link only works if you restrict yourself to the 18-25 age group.

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Anonymous Coward

Challange 30

I recently went in to a shop near my parants who had a "challange 30" policy... I got most upset that they wouldent serve me without ID at the age of 29 (and quight clearly over 18), and clearly don't carry ID as a matter of course. They explained that it was because "some people look older than they are". I was a little worried that as a 29 year old with stubble and scruffy day to day clothes on they thought I might be under 18.

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Ban everything!

Surely it makes sense to ban alcohol, tobacco, driving, and anything that could be considered vaguely dangerous (including a paper-round) to those over 65?

Lets stop all this scope-creep, and make the age of adult responsibility the same as the age of retirement. Basically, you get your "adult" card along with your bus-pass.

I am *so* glad I left the UK a few years ago - the place is a joke.

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Tim
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crazy policy

My 23 year old brother was out doing his weekly shop and had my 15 year old sister with him. In with his shopping was an 18 rated dvd. The woman at the counter asked him for id which he showed her. she then asked "does the girl have id?" to which he replied "No, and shes only 15 and the dvd is for me"

To cut a long story short, they wouldnt sell him the dvd in case he gave it to her. He complained to the manager saying that our mum had never had any isses buying alcohol or dvd's with a 15 year old with her so why should he. All they could say was that he didnt "look old enough to be a parent"

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Under 25's in night clubs

"First, many clubs now operate an official bar on anyone under 21 – or in the case of one Nottingham club, under 25."

What a load of bollocks. The places have been, are, and always will be full of underage girls because that's what brings the punters in.

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Stop

Idiot Government

Please! Enough is enough! Can we have a new government please. Ours is broken. While we're at it, can someone explain to Asda et al. that the drinking age in the UK is 18. The law is very clear about this. As a society, the Daily Mail/Express and Sun readers out there will no doubt often sceam about civil liberties (what ever they are) being impeaded. ID cards do not infringe civil liberties. Draconian over policing infringes civil liberties. "Forcing" (Asda's words, not mine) someone that is 5-7 years past the legal drinking limit to carry ID to prove they can buy booze is draconian and as irresponsible as selling to minors in the first place. The trouble is that this country is governed by the opinions of a few mental newspaper editors that can whip the half-whitted majority up into a frenzy over the most petty little thing. Oh yeah, Windows is rubbish et c.

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Unhappy

old people are just nasty

"Shane Brennan, Public Affairs Director for the Association of Convenience Stores, sees this as the result of a growing public concern over underage abuse of a range of items"

He's right, the aging UK population has increasingly vicious attitudes to the young, for the same reason that old people have always been nasty -- jealousy and bitterness at their own lost opportunities. The new factor is that the old are now an increasing proportion of society and are moulding it in their own image. Let's not forget that ID cards and 24/7 CCTV survieillance all have majority support in this sad little island.

I think there will be some respite once the baby-boomers start dying (hurrah for that), but the long term trend is clear.

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Anonymous Coward

Chumps.

"[This] will force all those over 18 but under 25 to carry photo ID (so driver's licence or passport) if they wish to purchase alcohol."

Only if they wish to purchase it from Asda. If they've got any sense they'll just go somewhere else instead.

"The new threshold is also designed to assist efforts to combat proxy purchase – where young adults purchase alcohol on behalf of underage friends."

So I'm 17 and my mate's 18, but has a Photo ID card. I ask him to buy me some booze. He goes to the shop, shows his ID card, when challenged simply states it's for himself, walks out of the shop, and gives it to me.

In what way has the ID card prevented me from purchasing alcohol by proxy?

"We also have a Challenge 25 policy on knives."

You do. Which is why I can buy them online. You chumps.

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Stop

Other ID not acceptable

A friend of mine was turned away from a pub because the only ID she had on her was her police warrent card!

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Anonymous Coward

See the patterns

You have a right, e.g. freedom of movement, freedom of speech, etc. The state tries to deny you that right, so they issue a 'permit' which 'confirms' your right but is optional. They then add a penalty for for allowing ineligible people to use that right. That corporation then demands that 'permit' as proof of the right.

Now the permit is the proof of the right. You want to drink? You need the permit, no permit, no right, regardless of your rights, you won't be allowed to exercise them. When did Parliament authorize that? Never of course, the penalty was decided by a minister as a minor matter, it's a shimmy around Parliament.

Another thing, the 'right to life' trumps all others according to Jacqui Smith. So why did we fight the Germans in the second world war? All our dead soldiers, if the right to life trumps everything then what did we send our soldiers to die? I think we value freedom above all, and, as much as nanny may disapprove, that includes drinking.

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hehe

as someone approaching 34 i love buying ciggies from the Co-Op, i always get Id'd :) luckily i always have my photo driving license in my wallet!

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Silver badge

@Mac Phreak

Alas, this is not the case, even though I personally agree with much of your sentiments. You see, shops, bars, clubs etc. have every right to refuse you service for anything that isn't a directly covered by discrimination laws e.g. no buying booze here, you're black, no drinking here, you're a woman, no dancing here, you're gay etc. are all a no-no, but applying your own age restrictions is A-OK.

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@ AC _ 'So Therefore'

No, it just means that if you look under the challenge age you won't get served without ID showing you are over 18. Once you prove your over 18 they will serve you.

The bars that ban under 21s are not a new thing, there were many over 21 bars and clubs when I was 18 whch was in 1982.

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Bronze badge

Partly due to availability

It's much easier than it used to be to get hold of stuff that (for better or worse) is considered to have a minimum age limit. We argue that these things should be available based on the fact that they're age-limited; we can hardly then blindly criticise the enforcement mechanism.

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Flame

@ban everything

We're well on the way. My ten year-old couldn't buy a water pistol with his pocket money. Even though I was stood right next to him. I had to physically hand his money over myself before they would sell it.

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It doesn't work!

Sadly the policies are as effective as the muppets running the shop. I got hit with Winerack's challenge 21 a couple of months back.

It should be flattering, considering I'm pushing 30, but it turned into a complete piss take. Normally it's simple, tell them you're over 21 and they don't ask for ID. The idiot on the counter decided that she needed to see ID becuse I might be 21, so I duly produced a my paper driving license (issued before any of this new-fangled plastic stuff). She refused to accept it because it didn't have a photo. (Despite proving that I was over 21). To make things that bit worse, I happened to be there with my Dad, and she told him that he could buy it for me. I pointed out that this would be illegal, as she thought I was underage, so I'd be obliged to report her for it. That proved too much for her to understand, alhtough the woman standing behind me thought it was hillarious (before telling her that she didn't have any ID and walking out).

I figured I'd take it up with their head office, but all they said was the manager's decision is final and refused to look at clarifying the policy.

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Challenge 32

I am 32 and am getting really f**ed off with being challenged to produce ID when frankly I couldn't be mistaken for a 25 year old never mind a 17 year old (the "you should take it as a compliment" line is really wearing thin now).

This has happened to me a few times recently (Asda and JD Wetherspoons) and seems bizarre when on at least one occasion the barmaid herself looked about 16.

When I was 14 I could buy booze in a number of places with no ID or a poorly forged home-made ID.

When I was was 18 I was usually ok because I looked my age.

Now I'm 32 I can't get a drink without ID - what the f*** is going on?

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Anonymous Coward

over

21,25 - unless you are a hot 16/17 year old who happens to flirt with the bouncers...

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No different

The government nannys have proprietors so worried about being shut down it will never end boys and it's the same in the US. When I reached 30 I was refused a purchase of beer (age limit 21) since my drivers license was from another state, they were however willing to sell me cigarettes (age limit 18) but I didn't buy them as they didn't notice a logical disconnect. At nearly 40, I was refused a bottle of rum because my wife, who was 35 at the time, didn't have her ID with her. Perhaps it's worse here.

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ID...

Was out at the weekend with my step-son and friend. Step-son had drivers licence and his friend had birth certificate and a college photo ID on him but couldn't get in...a bloody birth certificate and a photo ID, two forms of ID that proved he was over 18, but they wouldn't let him in.

Also going back to the comment about DVD shopping. had a similar thing with my step-son and went to get some wine and beers for his mum and I, cos he wasn't over 18 (at that time)they wouldn't serve me. However, went in with the 2 younger (9 and 5) children and they served me...wtf!!??!! they are still underage, i could still give them the alcohol so what is the difference???

At the end of the day no matter what they do, underage drinking will still happen, they should as someone else pointed out allow it in moderation, then you wouldn't have groups of kids on the local park with bottles/cans of alcohol causing mayhem. I was allowed to drink small amounts as a child growing up and to be honest it gave me a respect for drinking in moderation.

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Coat

Challenge 30

I had to Challenge Anneka. Needless to say she drank me under the table.

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Challenge 30

is the policy at our village shop. Supposedly to cut down on yoof drinking problems.

The local yoofs in question get they're crates of wife beater via their over age mates who go to ASDA on the bus. In any case the village is a one street job, so any misbehaviour is soon sorted out by the local pitchfork wielding mob.

Cobblers to the lot of it.

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brings the LOLZ

As a German, therefore having been issued my ID card at age 16, I find the British controversy about the issue evermore interesting and sometimes amusing. Having first hand experience and also seen plenty footage of The British Youth Under The Influence, I can well understand that people are reluctant about easy access to alcohol for the barely legal. Nevertheless, your economy over there must be most excellent if retail and leisure can afford losing all the cash-flow from people "too young", for fear of what might happen in case of a misjudgement.

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Alert

Nice law - badly enforced

My son, 16, has no problem obtaining booze from local shops. They have a CHALLENGE 21 policy. He has fake ID, bought on the web, for a fiver. He doesnt seem to have any problem, mores the pity.

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Err...

Damn right they didn't accept Military ID, considering the fine for serving someone underage is something like £5k, and in many chain bars is paid by the employee. Have you ever seen a Military ID? I've seen driving licence, passport and citizen card, but not a Military ID and I have a couple of friends in the Army.

Also - My local has a challange 35 policy, which they are very proud of, it only ever gets rolled out when the Agric Students are doing 'Pub Golf'.

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Happy

Non military, non drving, non travelling drunk

This is a bit unfair on the piss artist who'd rather spend his money getting drunk than going on holidays or driving

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Anonymous Coward

Local chain

uses 15-16 year olds at weekends/holiday time at the counters. What's stopping them waving their mates through, loaded up with ciggies and beer ? Are the police really going to charge the kids on the tills ? Doubt it somehow.

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Name and Shame - I'm sick of htis

<rant>

Recently in Birmingham on a night out before my brother was flown out to a middle eastern country on tour we headed into the Pitcher and Piano in Birmingham - he is 21 - had only his army ID card (as his passport was confiscated before going on tour - Army Rules!) Doesnt drive and didnt have a shitty citizen card. The bouncer allowed him entry to the bar after requesting to view his ID - but later decided to kick him out based on the same ID.

I think it is so shitty how we treat our troops in this country, I salute Ross Kemp and all of his efforts to get a bit of support and propaganda for our troops - I just wish the rest of the country would take heed.

Actually - its normally just power hungry pricks of bouncers that cause these problems - their inability to think outside of the box is legendary - maybe we should send them out to Afghan / Iraq and see if their attitude fares well out there.

</rant>

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Anonymous Coward

Interesting

As a German, therefore having been issued my ID card at age 16, I find the British controversy about the issue evermore interesting and sometimes amusing.

An interesting point which raises some interesting questions:

How do you cope with identity theft over there in Germany?

Has having ID cards made it easier or less easy to steal someone's identity (and does anyone have any figures to prove this one way or the other)?

Does your government keep all the ID card information on a central database?

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Stop

Most people don't spend every night down the boozer

This article appears to assume that all people of all ages spend every waking hour in the off-licence, pub or nightclub. It may come as a shock, but the majority of people - EVEN YOUNG PEOPLE - rarely visit any of these establishments. For the vast majority, it's a once-a-week event at most.

The connection, therefore, between proof-of-age to buy booze, and some kind of stealth introduction of ID cards, is patent b*ll*cks. A scheme which only means you might voluntarily carry ID on the odd Friday or Saturday night can hardly be described as compulsory.

Of course, for Reg hacks, Booze Is Life.

But for most people, it's an occasional light beer a couple of times a month.

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Anonymous Coward

U.S.A.

Been stateside recently? I was in an airport bar in North Carolina when the bartender carded a man in a suit who looked over 50. In the international departure lounge of an American airport, everyone has a passport handy anyhow, so it was no big deal, but at least it proves the bartender wasn't discriminating against young people.

In a lot of American bars, they have a "Challenge Everyone" policy. It ain't convenient, but it ain't discrimination either. Does that make it better?

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Paris Hilton

Fantastic

Great idea, long overdue. Personally I think UK pubs should only allow in Canadian male tourists between 44 and 46 years of age with passports, plus good-looking promiscuous girls between 16 and 24.

And the bartender of course, provided he's frail and over 70.

Paris, because she's a little too old to get in now.

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Flame

Insane Despotism

Don't you also have to be over 18 to serve alcohol?

We should challenge the legality of those serving us, and when they tell us they're over 18, demand that they prove it. With a passport as the only acceptable form of ID.

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Stop

Can't blame the shops

The challenges made by shops are not surprising given the fines levied on any caught selling to under-age people. My wife works in the village store and every challenge has to be logged in a book, alongside the result e.g. good ID or sale refused etc... If she were to be caught she risks a hefty fine, possible prison sentence and the most certainly the sack. It's no wonder they are over cautious. I think the general rule is - if you are buying alcohol and you want to do it hassle free, take some accepted ID. Don't have a go at the shop assistants, they are just covering their backsides because of constant pressure from management, or in turn are in under the constant threat from law enforcement agencies.

I do think that this is a way of introducing an ID card by stealth though. If people find it easier to carry out daily tasks because they have one, then most people will get one.

Is there an age limit on purchasing homebrew kits? Homebrew may be the answer.

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@ Fraser

I know exactly what a military ID looks like, but then I have not the slightest idea what a 'Age Verification ID' a 'youth Pass ID' or any other age verification ID looks like........unless I look at the sample ID poster at the checkout.

Don't know what a militar ID look like.....simple. Print up a sample ID on the bottom of the poster of all the other sample IDs and send the poste to all the checkouts. All you really need is is Tracy up at head office to recognise that there is such a thing in this country as the Military and the fact that they do carry around IDs.

There. Easy wasn't it?

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Anonymous Coward

25 club?

anyone know what club in Nottingham has the over 25 policy?

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Bouncers

I work part time as a bouncer and a lot of the time the reasons we give for refusing entry are bollocks; "we're too full" etc etc. The main reason for not getting in someplace is simply that the doorstaff don't like the look of you, you look like you might cause bother. It is certainly true that it is easier for girls to get into any bar, but a girl is less likely to headbutt someone (although not by much here in Glasgow) and the stewards don't have to spend time watching them for potential bother.

With the 2 marines, the bouncers probably didn't want the hassle of watching them all night or potentially having to throw them out. Wetherspoons have a reputation for employing the shittest staff and I doubt they would relish the prospect of trying to eject a couple of marines.

"A friend of mine was turned away from a pub because the only ID she had on her was her police warrent card!".

I would knock back polis just because i can. Cunts.

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idiots

idiots, challenge 20/25/30 rules are not to drove you are above any of those ages, it means they challenge everyone that LOOKS under those ages, jezz, read the frigging article.

Surely retailers have to have some limits on the ID they accept? This is to stop to oh so easy to get fake IDs. They are hardly going to accept everything, they just train staff to recognise the 3 most common.

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Pirate

@Andrew Oakley

Seriously, which country do you live in?

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Black Helicopters

Nanny says "no"

Nanny disapproves of freedom. It's very dangerous and silly and results in showing-off.

Now back in your cells like good boys and girls.

If ordinary people had any right to freedom, or privacy, or to mind their own goddammed business it would just be anarchy, now wouldn't it.

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Coat

Annoyed, sign my petition

I got so annoyed about being 35yo and being carded in my local Sainsburys I started a #10 petition:

http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/alcohol-buying/

I've sure I've got my passport in my white coat somewhere....

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@ AC re Local Chain

IANAL however I understand that if you are underage and working the till, then selling booze etc. needs to be authorised by someone of legal age. I see this in my local supermarkets, some places they just need to shout to the person at the next till to OK it, in others a supervisor has to key into the till to authorise.

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Flame

Sigh....

...whoopee fucking doo.

Last time I was in Vegas and Palm Springs, some bars asked everyone for id, without fail, even regulars.

No big deal as everyone carried some form or another.

And as for over 21 / 25 bars I could name several that have had this since the 80's as well as ones for over 30s!

Move along, the Reg is becoming the online Daily Mail and the commentatrors the new HYS.

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Alert

next time

"By Tim Posted Thursday 5th February 2009 13:15 GMT

My 23 year old brother was out doing his weekly shop and had my 15 year old sister with him. In with his shopping was an 18 rated dvd. The woman at the counter asked him for id which he showed her. she then asked "does the girl have id?" to which he replied "No, and shes only 15 and the dvd is for me"

To cut a long story short, they wouldnt sell him the dvd in case he gave it to her. He complained to the manager saying that our mum had never had any isses buying alcohol or dvd's with a 15 year old with her so why should he. All they could say was that he didnt "look old enough to be a parent"

"

dump your shopping at the till and walk out... you haven't actually purchased it

or else go back in on your own to purchase said 18 only DVD... but use a different till

that's what I do to get around the silly restrictions on the number of packets of painkillers I can purchase in one go... I hate being nannied...

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Black Helicopters

@Andrew Oakley

Drinking is only one small part of the push for compulsory ID - every time you try to open a bank or Building Society account, to start to deal with an accountancy firm or a solicitor, you're asked to prove your identity to prevent "money laundering". Renewing passports, driving licences ditto. I haven't tried moving house recently or changing electricity supplier, but since bills can be used as part of the proof of ID process, I wouldn't bne suprised if you don't need to jump through hoops for those too.

And I'm sure the lists of acceptable documents are getting smaller and harder to meet - everything now has to be a certified copy by an ever decreasing list of acceptable professionals. The powers that be are nudging us continually into a reality where it's just so much easier to have the damn papers/ID cards anyway, whether or not we want them.

And if everyone relies on their ID for everything, how much leverage do they have on you just by threatening to take it away, or if they "accidentally" lose it. Just like when they take your passport away in foreign countries. Paranoid? Yes, probably. But that doesn't mean it ain't true.

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@ pepol

@ Richard

so age discrimination in not a crime "can't serve you you are under 25 but over 18"

@michael

they made the pruchess of any gun shaped object restricted to over 18's 2 year ago so all water pistols are now as dangerous as vodka unless it is a gun shaped and collared then it is tootle illegal to sell (and I so wish I was kidding)

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Stop

Discriminatory bullshit

When I first moved to Galway in Ireland about 11 years ago you needed to be 21 or over to get into pretty much any bar / nightclub there.

This was changed when people started legal actions for discrimination based on age and suddenly everyone over 18 was allowed into all bars.

This country is nuts, what the fuck are they playing at

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