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ID Policy Helps Minors Buy Alcohol

Group ID
The policy above, posted outside my local liquor store, is one of the best I’ve seen — not because it makes sense, but because it’s entertaining.  And it helps teenagers get alcohol, which in turn helps them get laid, which in turn makes it something I approve of.

If it ain’t broke, well, it’s broke…

  • Any group of kids where only 1 of them has ID (or is asking somebody to buy for them) will only send in the one with the ID, so this does nothing to prevent buying alcohol for minors.  In fact, it makes it more likely for them to succeed because the group is warned before they go into the store; without warning, they might have all gone in and gotten caught.
  • It only inconveniences people who can legitimately buy alcohol, like a father who goes to buy beer after picking up his teenage son from soccer practice.  He can legitimately buy alcohol, so most likely will ignore the sign and end up being refused service.  He has to stop, read the sign, then have his son stand outside with the hookers, the drug dealers, and the guy opening the door for change and cigarette butts.

This policy manages to increase the likelihood of minors getting alcohol and decrease the likelihood of adults getting alcohol – the exact opposite of what we want to accomplish.

But the brokenness doesn’t stop there.  Let’s say the father and son from above walk into the store together and are both asked for ID.

  • What if they both walk out, and the father walks back in himself.  He’s by himself this time, right?
  • What if the son just leaves?  They’re not together anymore, right?
  • What if they pretend to not know each other?  How can you prove they are in a group?
  • Conversely, what if “hot-ass-melon-tits” is chatting me up in the line up and we agree to go on a date in my car when we leave the store?  Are we now together?  And what if it turns out she’s actually “16-but-looks-21-and-has-learned-sex-appeal-to-get-things”?  Am I to be refused service?  (From the store.)

This is why nobody hires university grads…

I’m going to be charitable and say that the policy makers weren’t stupid, but perhaps in fact too academic and got “caught in the math world”.  For example, take the following question:

Two birds are sitting on a branch.  You shoot one down.  How many are left on the branch?

We’ve been trained in math class to answer “one”, but the real world answer is “zero”.  In the math world, we only use the facts we are given and we never take into account side effects like a gunshot sending all the birds in the tree flying away.  A similar thought process might have given birth to our abominable policy:

Well a single person needs ID to get alcohol, so if a group comes in and we want to be sure they are all of legal age, then they all need ID.

Let’s be reasonable…

I’m sure if a woman walks in carrying a baby, she won’t be refused service — I don’t think (at least I hope) that the policy makers and implementers would be so unreasonable as to make her leave her baby in the car.  But this policy fails at the most cursory, common and reasonable situations.

I give this policy 4 out of 5 /facepalms.

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