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How Minors Know Which Stores Will Sell Them Tobacco and Alcohol

When you were in high school, did your town have that one store or that one restaurant that would always accept fake IDs or knowingly sell to minors?

Although it’s highly illegal, it happened then, and it still happens today.

If your establishment doesn’t use age verification technology with every alcohol, cannabis, and tobacco purchase, you might be at risk for becoming known as the place where minors can get away with using fake IDs.

There are a few telltale signs that let minors know they might be able to get away with purchasing tobacco or alcohol products.

Read through this list and make sure YOU aren’t making any of these mistakes. You don’t want to become that one establishment!

1. No ID scanners or age verification technology

If it’s well-known that your establishment doesn’t use an ID scanner, a minor (and all of their friends) will likely feel more confident that they will be able to get away with using a fake ID.

ID scanners not only flag an ID that is fraudulent, but it will also keep a record of the ID that it scans so the operator will be alerted if the ID is used again.

This comes in handy in the event that someone uses their ID to make a purchase and then hands it off to a minor.

2. Young operators checking IDs

The legal age to buy alcohol and tobacco in the United States is 21 years old. If a store clerk is under the age of 21 themselves (18 or so), they might not feel confident turning away someone that is older than them, if a minor is 19 or 20.

At the same time, a minor might feel as though they can get away with swindling the operator because they are, in fact, older although they are still a “minor” in the eyes of the law.

How long someone takes to look at an ID?

The average retail C store transaction is 8 seconds. Sales associates have long lines and the mental math is too difficult. An ID scanner is a practical solution that allows for both speed and accuracy—100% of the time.

- Ron Tobb, Owner, Minor Decliner

3. Accepts vertical IDs

If you make a blanket statement that your establishment doesn’t accept vertical IDs, even if they are not expired and the person’s birthdate says they are 21, you are automatically adding a layer of protection. Horizontal IDs are only given to persons who are 21 and older so the operators of your establishment will know to not even consider selling to someone who offers their horizontal ID.

Final Thoughts

Make sure your store, bar, or restaurant is protected from making accidental sales to minors by equipping every register or entrance with age verification technology.

These machines will ensure that the person attempting to enter to purchase alcohol or tobacco is of age and that their ID is legitimate and you won’t become “that store”.

ID scanners protect your business, your licenses, your employees and your community. Learn more about our products and which could be the right fit for your establishment here.