Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Moral Crusade for Store Customers: Ask Store Manager to Verify Age of Someone Buying Alcohol Who Appears to be Under Age 21

Texan consumers while shopping inside a store can help to prevent the flagrantly illicit consumption of alcohol by persons under age 21.

Texan consumers can do that by immediately locating a store manager whenever those Texan consumers observe someone who appears to be under age 21 placing an alcoholic beverage into his own shopping cart.

Texan consumers can also help out by immediately locating a store manager whenever those vigilant Texans observe a youthful-looking customer attempting to purchase an alcoholic beverage at a check-out counter inside that store.

The store manager can insist that the youthful-looking customer please present that store manager with a valid identification card indicating that the young-looking customer is, in fact, age 21 or older.

It is a flagrant violation of the law in Texas for any store clerk inside a supermarket or other other retail store in Texas to sell any alcoholic beverage to any customer who is under age 21. It is also a flagrant violation of the law in Texas for any person under age 21 to himself purchase an alcoholic beverage inside a store in Texas.

A staff member for the Austin Police Department municipal law-enforcement agency did inform me on the phone today that the law requires that signs be posted inside each store selling alcohol which clearly state that store clerks are required by law to ask for an identification card from any customer seeking to purchase alcohol or beer who appears to be age 35 or younger.

That same Austin Police Department (APD) staff member also told me today on the telephone that if a store clerk provides the explanation to a vigilant middle-aged customer that a youthful-looking customer purchasing alcohol there "is a regular customer of mine, so I don't need to ask him for his identification," that store clerk is required by law to have the ability to then prove that that store clerk previously checked a driver's license identification card for that very same customer on a prior occasion, the APD staff member informed me.

My own concern about this type of "he's a regular customer, so we've already verified his age" explanation that I've myself been told this week by two different store clerks in Austin is that the cited customer may NOT be the individual for whom that store clerk said he has previously checked that customer's identification card. It is very common for an underage younger brother or cousin of someone to strongly resemble that relative of his who's age 21 or older. Also, many of the youthful-looking gentlemen of Austin who appear to be age 35 or younger bear a striking resemblance to one another---even though they are completely different persons, one being a minor and the other being age 21 or older.

Texans seeking to help prevent under-age consumption of alcoholic beverages by minors are urged to contact the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) in Austin for additional information.

The phone numbers that vigilant Texans can use for contacting the State of Texas law-enforcement agency in Austin to report concerns about possible violations of the law of this type are:

-----Main Switchboard Number for the TABC state agency: (512) 206-3333.

-----Complaint Line for TABC: 1-888-843-8222 (888-THE-TABC).

-----TABC Enforcement Division: (512) 206-3400 or (512) 206-3449.

Vigilant Texans are particularly encouraged to contact the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission state agency if those Texans observe repeated incidents in which any particular supermarket or other retail store in Texas appears to be selling alcoholic beverages to persons under age 21 on a frequent basis.

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