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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  1. Anonymous Coward

    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

  2. Richard Neill

    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.

  3. Eddie Edwards
    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.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  5. scott
    Thumb Down

    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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  7. andy gibson

    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.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    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.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    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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  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "[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.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    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!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  14. Liam


    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!

  15. Richard

    @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.

  16. Trevor Watt

    @ 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.

  17. Robert Grant

    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.

  18. Michael

    @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.

  19. Andrew

    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.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    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?

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


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

  22. Eddy Ito
    Thumb Down

    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.

  23. Znort666


    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!!??!! 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.

  24. Niall

    Challenge 30

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

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    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.

  26. Bad Beaver

    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.

  27. Anonymous Coward

    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.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    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'.

  29. Mark Burton

    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

  30. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Name and Shame - I'm sick of htis


    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.


  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    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?

  33. Andrew Oakley

    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.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    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?

  35. Mark S
    Paris Hilton


    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.

  36. blue

    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.

  37. Anonymous Coward

    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.

  38. peter

    @ 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?

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    25 club?

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

  40. Sweep


    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.

  41. Martin
    Thumb Down


    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.

  42. Burch

    @Andrew Oakley

    Seriously, which country do you live in?

  43. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  44. Faye Gibbins

    Annoyed, sign my petition

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

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

  45. Rasczak

    @ 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.

  46. Anonymous Coward


    ...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.

  47. paulc

    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...

  48. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  49. michael

    @ pepol

    @ Richard

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


    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)

  50. Anonymous Coward

    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

  51. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Sigh....

    You lot have been HYS for techies for ages now.

    But I resemble that other remark. The Mail? Good god.

  52. Anonymous Coward


    That's nothing - I've had two seperate supermarkets refuse to sell me alcohol because I had the audacity to take my 19 year old son along to help with the weekly shop !

    It wouldn't have been so bad but the ID he had on him was 'the wrong type' !!!

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I hear (or read!) what your saying , but wasn't the Age Discrimination Act passed a couple of years ago? Surely that covers this?

  54. michael

    @ sarah bee

    "You lot have been HYS for techies for ages now."

    hay I resemble that remark!!

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @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"

    Yes you can. Sooner or later someone has to stand up to this hateful bitch and just because companies have nothing to gain, simply means you boycott them till they decide that yes, it is actually in their interests to resists stuff like this.

    She's made it so you can have booze, only if you are prepared to carry ID, otherwise not. Today it's booze, tomorrow it will be something else you'll need a permit to buy/use. I bet Sunbeds are next, they changed the law so that sunbeds can't be used by under 18s, I bet they add a penalty and make it a crime if you let an under 18 use a sunbed, so going to a solarium will require an ID.... and since gyms have solariums, going to the gym will require and id check.

  56. Tim

    Tentative pedantry @Sarah Bee

    *Cough* respectfully, Miss Moderatrix, I wonder if you perhaps might have meant that you 'resent' that other remark, rather than resemble it.

    Andrew Oakley: are you from Utah? This is Britain. I'm not even sure what "light beer" means.

    Flames for the fire I'm playing with.

  57. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Tentative pedantry @Sarah Bee

    You may well cower. It's the Three Stooges, donchaknow.

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ausweis bitte!

    In some ways the 'ausweis bitte!' culture makes things worse, not better.

    I started drinking in pubs when I was 13, I think. My mates and I thought we'd managed to pass for 18 - until the landlord of our local disabused us of that notion not long after we'd actually turned 18. A very 'old school' landlord of the 'pub is a part of the community' variety, he told us he'd rather we were drinking somewhere he could keep an eye on us rather than having us out terrorising the locals. We'd drink, the logic went, whether he or our parents permitted it.

    By hammering away at 'yoof' today, the nannying finger waggers are unnecessarily exacerbating the problem by pushing the little oiks into drinking whatever psycho lager the Tesco marketing department is pimping to them this week, and forcing them to drink it in places where the only post-fuelling up entertainment is kicking the crapout of/stabbing/shooting people and things. The lack of respect accorded to the young makes it little surprise they show none in return.

    Can we have a jackboot icon please.

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    want to go to jail?

    I work in retail (joy of living in the boondocks)

    If you card someone and they complain you get grief about "upsetting the customers" (store lower management tend to be crooked and have their eyes on the bosses job)

    If you sell age restricted products to someone underage (knives, booze, cigarettes) you get a) fired, b) probably jailed, c) fined about 3 times what you earn in a year

    damned if you do, damned if you dont

    Simple solution, carry ID, most people have their driving licence on them at all times, so pull it out, show it to me, and you get what you want. Refuse to show it to me, means I refuse the sale, have to record it in the refusal to sell book, and get a big headache from idiots in lower management with chavvy children who cry to mummy that I upset their friends and I'm harrasing them for implementing the law.

    entitlement fuckers piss me off. For the record its an "invitation" to purchase, not an "obligation to sell" which means any store can refuse to sell you anything. Shame most managers dont have the spine to enforce the rules and kick out abusive customers (verbal, physical and armed)

    I dont make the rules I just have to enforce them or I land in the nick.

  60. Anonymous Coward



  61. Catkins

    The wrinkliest teenager in town

    My age has been queried more times in the past year than it ever was when I drank underage many many years ago. In fact drinking and purchasing booze in the UK is becoming similar to the situation in the US. No ID card, no purchase, even if you're 80.

    Happened in Tesco's recently. I gave such an astonished "but I'm THIRTY FOUR" response they served me. It was a £10 bottle of wine and I was wearing a suit. Hardly trying to hide the £2.99 Buckfast in my hoodie.

    In Waitrose before Christmas my parter, who is thirty five but grey haired, had to buy the wine as they wouldn't let me. Judging from some of the other comments here, I ought to be glad they actually served him and didn't accuse him of being some sort of nonce who wanted to get me drunk and have his wicked way with me.

    I don't look 18. I don't even look 25. My moisturiser ain't that good. This is about softening people up for carrying ID.

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    A taste from abroad

    Near my house there is a coffee shop (a Dutch one, so it sells marijuana) where they have a sign on the wall:

    "If you don't carry ID, you are not 18"

    And indeed, people over 40 have to show their ID cards. But it's all academic, as ID cards are compulsory in the Netherlands and walking outside without one is a punishable crime.

    Maybe off topic, but this is what happens: A guy was in the train sitting with his feet on the opposite bench. This is not permitted. The conductor asked to see his ID card. He didn't have it with him, so the police got involved. This guy got arrested, so they could verify his identity. He spend two nights in jail while they where 'verifying'. And no, in the Netherlands, you don't have the right to make a phone call. You are just 'gone'.

    Imagine that, in jail for two nights for sitting with your feet on a bench. Are we scared yet? We should be.

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    id types

    I seem to recall a report about the number of people taking their driving test dropping, mainly among teenagers due to the cost of learning to drive and then the cost of insurance.

    On that basis drivers license is going to become a lot less widely used form of ID and while the rate for passports are high it's not a document many people would think of carrying with them constantly.

    So it's only a step to a 'why don't you have this nice handy 'entitlement' card'

    This government is obsessed with mission creep and using stealth, they have massively decreased the power of parliment and the accountability of ministers. On that basis my first thought with them is to always suspect an ulterior motive.

  64. Matt Horrocks

    Stupid useless shop people...

    Once I was buying alcohol and an 18-rated DVD. They scanned the alcohol through without asking for ID then refused to sell me the DVD as I didn't have any ID, so I just took the alcohol... muppets!

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well I'm Buggered

    Well thats me taken up the rear then, I have neither passport nor driving licence (as I have never learnt to drive even at 39) and never been abroad.

  66. Ian Rowe

    adultism - not limited to alcohol imbibers

    I have been teetotal all my life and never found cause to carry ID around with me all the time as I don't have a car.

    A few years ago, when I was 21ish, I accompanied some friends into a bar. I was told they would not allow me to stay unless I provided ID to prove I was over 18, despite me stating that I did not want any alcohol. Not knowing enough to kick up a fuss, we went to another bar.

    Had that happened now I would be demanding to see the manager and at the least issuing a complaint with whatever standards body applied and potentially taking them to court. Unfortunately I do not know what the outcome would be as the law on discrimination has gaping holes in it.

    This may change with a new bill which can be read about here:,10072,FP.html

  67. This post has been deleted by its author

  68. Sabine Miehlbradt

    German Id cards

    Someone asked about the German ID cards.

    1) They are not in any centralized database. Our Minister of the Interior wants to change that though, but he makes Wacky Jackie look positively sane, anyway. The man was attacked by a loony (or maybe a visitor from the future) resulting in paralysis from the waist down and obviously suffers from paranoid delusions.

    2) The cards are considered pretty hard to fake. Of course a proper org can fake them but it's expensive and takes time. ID theft by ID card is not much of a problem. In dealing with banks or police, the cards are considered authoritative and valid prove of identity. I never had mine actually scrutinized.

    3) We are obliged by law to have on by the age of 18 but not to carry it around at any time. Germany has some odd laws about having to be registered at the place of residence that Bismarck enacted in the 1880s. The (local) authority responsible for this register also issues the id cards.

    4) To get your first ID you need a certificate of birth. If your parents followed the registering law the document or a copy is already at the local registration authority, anyway. To renew the ID after 10 years, the old ID usually suffices. Parents with ID can ID their kids at the office (a.k.a. web of trust - here I am, here is my kid and here's the document to prove I have a kid, now give my kid an ID, too).

    5) We don't need them much except to open a bank account or to Id ourselves when signing a notarized contract. Sometimes we use them to prove our age when buying booze (never needed to do that) or other things 18+ only. I last used mine when proving my ID before donating blood as I have not yet put a photo in my donor's pass.

    Basically - the cards are widely accepted, have their uses, are considered fake-safe for everyday use and no use in tracking anyone. My details are on record with the local registering authority only and can only be shared under very strict rules. My card hardly ever leaves the wallet. I could use other photo id instead, it's just handy to use.

  69. Turbojerry

    How to beat the "credit crunch"

    1. Nip over the Channel.

    2. Buy large quantities of booze.

    3. Sell to anyone who doesn't have "proper" ID / Benjamin Button / etc.

    4. Profit!!!

  70. Dave

    @AC re: USA

    I remember one trip to Florida, when I was younger, where my dad (grey hair, glasses etc... he was 65 at the time I think) was asked for ID at a liquor store and they would only accept his passport not drivers licence as proof.

    Oh how me and my brother laughed over that one :) My poor dad though just couldn't understand it!

  71. Steve

    Re; Military ID

    Does a Military ID show date of birth? If it doesn't, and people can join the military under 18, then it's not actually valid ID for buying alcohol.

    My brother is in his late twenties and was a shift manager for one of the largest pubs in town. He was asked for ID in the supermarket and the only thing he had was his personal alcohol license and they wouldn't accept it. They also wouldn't accept his explanation that underage drinkers don't buy the expensive 12yr old single malt of which the shop only stocks about half a dozen bottles.

  72. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    More than a happy coincidence, I think

    Compliant retail outlets like Tesco and Sainsbury are increasingly becoming a branch of government, or at least tools of the pressure groups (it's hard to tell which, since the government normally does whatever the pressure groups tell them anyway).

    We've had supermarkets push endless political issues at us in recent years: fat and salt content in food, animal welfare, alcohol consumption, plastic bags & low energy light bulbs are just the ones I happen to remember. In each case, the stores have taken a clear lead in pushing government policy - and in not a few cases have later been forced to tone down their position when customers pushed back.

    Successful businesses with customers who are reluctant to move elsewhere (and this would include outlets like night-clubs, not just the large supermarkets) are obvious targets for political pressure. That they are a tool in implementing the anti-alcohol agenda isn't really a surprise. Customers need to make it clear to these businesses if they don't like it. At the end of the day, the customer's money is what really talks.

  73. Stewart Haywood

    Interesting behaviour

    I am sure that in England and Wales people from 5 to 17 years can drink in private with no problem. To drink on licensed premises you have to be 18 or over. There is an exception, at 16 and 17 you can drink beer wine and cider in a pub or restaurant if an adult orders it with a table meal.

    There is no problem with an adult going and buying booze, taking it home and allowing his/her 6 year old kid to drink it. There is, however a problem, if the 6 year old pays the parent for it.

    Given the above, it really does not make sense to refuse to sell to someone who has a kid with them. But, most of the people at checkouts don't make most of the time.

    The penguin because booze gives you happy feet.

  74. Andy Hards
    Thumb Up

    I got asked

    Last friday night I was on my way to a friend's house for drinks when I thought a bottle of wine would be a nice gift. I popped into Asda and grabbed a cheap bottle of red and when I got to the counter I realised from the look on the till girls face that she was going to ask me for ID. Being a 34 year old with two kids I was quite chuffed and luckily had my drivers licence on me which confirmed it.

    This never happened when I was 14 and buying cans of Lindener Lager in Spar before going to the park with me mates to get pissed under the slide.

    Keep it up I say.

  75. Anonymous Coward


    Stuff the pubs, next time I come over from OZ, I'll bring my own booze.

    "The idea that a 30-year-old woman may be refused a purchase because she appears underage is considered a positive thing." Are you kidding? If somebody asked me that, the only thing I'd be positive about is that they were mentally deficient, but then I'm neither female nor 30.

    On a serious note, reading stories like this about a country that has been so widely respected for its democracy and sense of the rights of the individual is very disappointing.

  76. Dave

    I need some new vices

    I don't smoke, drink or frequent night clubs and I don't buy many DVDs, so I miss out on all the fun.

    I also only have one piece of photo-ID, which is my passport. I still have an old-style driver's licence which is still good enough and doesn't need to be updated every ten years.

    I do like the idea of everyone refusing to provide ID though, good practice in case NuLab manage to win the next election and try to foist their Big Brother crap on us for real.

  77. Anonymous Coward

    @ Old people are just nasty

    What a lot of crap in your post.

    The older generation do NOT subscribe to all this control freakery and abuse of personal freedoms and choices. Nor the assumption of guilt, etc. etc.

    Most of us grew up in the aftermath of the Second World War and heartily regret the way things are turning out now, in defiance of that for which our parents and grand parents fought and sacrificed.

    Notwithstanding that, we are not impressed with values and behaviour exhibited by many of the younger generation these days. Perhaps they bring it on themselves whilst seeking false freedoms without the corresponding responsibities. After all, we do live in a me first, me centric materialistic society now - quite alien to us in the older generation.

  78. Paul

    my solution..

    Tried buying a crate of Tuborg at ASDA,, these were £10 exactly before the VAT dropped

    I was asked for ID and didn't have any, (im 26), i just left the £10 on the till, picked up the crate and walked out.

    No laws broken, I paid, I'm over 18 so they can't be fined. what can they do?

    Stupid fuckers!

  79. Anonymous Coward

    Welcome to socialist Britain

    It's no different from Communist Russia, or Nazi Germany - and it's deadly dangerous.

    I left ten years ago when the right to silence was trashed. The Magna Carta followed soon after.

  80. Anonymous Coward


    I do like the idea of everyone refusing to provide ID though, good practice in case NuLab manage to win the next election and try to foist their Big Brother crap on us for real.

    Yeah, that would be great if they didn't demand your ID for you to vote the numpties out of office.

  81. Allan Dyer

    Florida nightclub

    A bouncer at a Florida nightclub refused to accept my Hong Kong ID card as proof of age, and asked if I had a driving license. I showed my HK driving license, and even pointed out where it had my ID card number (but no photo or age) on it.

    Fortunately, her manager was able to figure it out, and let me in. Mickey Mouse outfit.

    Anyway, it is an oxymoron to ask you to prove you can drive before allowing you to drink yourself into no fit state to do the same... unless, of course, they forcibly search for and confiscate the car keys of anyone presenting a driving license. That would make the roads safer.

  82. peter

    Re; Military ID by Steve

    Does a Military ID show date of birth?..........Yes

    ....And has your picture

    .....And has your blood group

    ......And has your signature

    ....and is only issued against proof of age, proof of address, parents addresses, and after a security check

    Is it good enough to be used a ID now?

  83. Alan Fisher


    what's the big deal? The only people seriously worried should be the underage or heavy drinkers surely? Also, ID to open bank accounts? Been doing that for years, same with any form of credit agreement.....

    I'm not sure how much this whole anti-id-for-anything attitude reflects the same as the Daily Fail crowd but to me it's no biggie really is it?

    I mean, if you want to be paranoid about Big Brother consider; there are CCTV cameras pretty much everywhere so if Large Male Sibling wishes to know what you are doing then then Senior Male Fellow Offspring already knows........there've been ID cards in Spain for years

  84. alan

    re Richard @Mac Phreak

    BUt age discrimantion is now law, as of October 07 I believe, it now shares the same legal footing as the others you stated at least in employment law

  85. ElFatbob


    'My details are on record with the local registering authority only and can only be shared under very strict rules.'

    and that is, for me, the nub of the matter.

    UK has plans for a VAST centralised database which will record every aspect of your life (oh yes it will - look at the current and future proposals, THEN tell me i'm wrong) and the government intends to sell a portion of that data to private companies for profit, after compelling you to give the information.

    No strict rules. No government accountability. No recourse to parliament to increase the scope.

  86. Alien8n

    The problem isn't the ID cards

    It's the fact that

    a) The government keep lying about why they want you to have them. "It'll prevent terrorism/ID theft/drunken hooligans/global warming"*

    b) They want to put all of that information onto a nice big database so they can track you till you die. Let's face it, this government has the worst record in the world when it comes to data security. Add to that if there's an error in the database because some numpty can't type it's too late, officially you are no longer who you say you are.

    c) And to top it all off once they have your data and you have your card they'll then sell that data to the highest bidder (read anyone who wishes to purchase access to the database, which will pretty much be EVERY business in the UK that needs to verify your ID). What's the betting the contract for the hardware and software required will go to a business with a history of making large political donations to NuLab?

    This is not about verifying who we are, it's just another way for this government to generate taxes.

    * Delete where applicable

  87. John Ozimek

    @ errrm

    To be honest, I have few issues with anything this government proposes, per se. That may surprise some readers.

    But the point is HOW something is used. I have also done a lot of consultancy work in my time, and the trick almost always is to cut through the rhetoric to understand what is happening - not what the management SAY is happening.

    There are two or three issues with id, all illustrated in comments here. One is the way it can be used by police: essentially a means to justify you being you at any moment of day or night. Such a power, used sensibly and sparingly could work well. But do I believe - having seen what the UK Police have done with, say, SOCPA - that such laws will be used sensibly and sparingly?


    Second, there are the penalties for failing to justify yourself: if you can spend time locked up just for not carrying a piece of paper or plastic, in my world view, that is simply wrong.

    Last - and separate from the above - is the concept of some sort of centralised database which the carding system supports. Again: no probs with such used sensibly. But I have my doubts.

    Maybe the issue is that these are quite bis powers that the UK government is asking for and they are powers that should really only be entrusted to governments you trust. I suspect you can close that syllogism yourself.

  88. Ted Treen

    @AC 13:27

    Nice thinking, old lad - but basically bollocks.

    As a baby boomer myself (January 1950 vintage) with a son born Feb 1986 - who was, and still is, one of my best friends, I have noted that complaisance AND complacence are more prevalent amongst the young than amongst us wrinklies.

    Having a lot of friends in the age group 18-65, I can confirm that the abhorrence of, and mistrust of NuLab and especially Whacky Jacqui appears to be in direct proportion to one's age.

    I assume that you are a comparitive youngster.

  89. G4Z

    @ AC 01:12 - about old people and stuff

    "What a lot of crap in your post.

    The older generation do NOT subscribe to all this control freakery and abuse of personal freedoms and choices. Nor the assumption of guilt, etc. etc.

    Most of us grew up in the aftermath of the Second World War and heartily regret the way things are turning out now, in defiance of that for which our parents and grand parents fought and sacrificed."

    I am pleased to hear that you are against this kind of abuse of civil liberties, however you do realise that if we are going to make generalisation about age groups that your age group the baby boomers is responsible for all of this shit we find outselves mired in, don't you?

    "Notwithstanding that, we are not impressed with values and behaviour exhibited by many of the younger generation these days. Perhaps they bring it on themselves whilst seeking false freedoms without the corresponding responsibities. After all, we do live in a me first, me centric materialistic society now - quite alien to us in the older generation."

    Fantastic generalisation, neatly avoiding the fact that recent generations are a product of your generation, its parenting and social policy. I were you I would be a bit concerned about what might happen when the demographics mean 90% of the population is old and incapacitated, do you think these younger generations will want to support you guys after the rampant greed you have shown? A huge generalisation I know, which is why they are dangerous and you should refrain from making. Tthat scenario is not unimagineable when you look at the way the younger generation are marginalised and deamonised now, yet they are the ones who will be expected to pay for your pension and your nursing home.

  90. Darkside

    Kids nowadays

    Kids nowadays are as wet as the pavement slush they're frightened to walk on.

    They're getting the respect they deserve because they're too passive to cast a vote!

  91. Anonymous Coward

    Response from AC

    @AC 13:27 By Ted Treen

    Hear Hear.

    @ AC 01:12 - about old people and stuff By G4Z

    It is, in general, the generation behind me that has embraced this culture that I detest, current NULab for instance.

    However, that is not to absolve the previous Conservative governments who initially embraced unfettered capitalism with inappropriate enthusiasm.

    Other factors are the influence of the EU, in which our membership is founded on lies; and the influence of advancing technology - not in itself evil but subject to serious misuse. Of course, the destruction of the family unit and Christian values as pillars of our society has also a significant part to play.

    I personally regret the world (and the debt) that the younger generation are inheriting from us.

    @ Sarah Bee (elsewhere)

    Posted anonymously so that I don't get 'labeled' by other contributers when I post on other subjects under my alias

    My coat is ready in case I need it!

  92. G4Z

    @ AC 16:05

    Christian values, sorry i can't let that one go.

    Are you kidding me? Christian values? so, values like 'genocide being ok if inflicted another religion' or 'you should feel guilty about sex' or 'abortion and contraception is a sin' we should embrace should we?

    No thanks mate, I think we would all be better off if those values went the way of the dinosaurs and we simply go with some values based on the golden rule. Also, I would say the EU is a pretty liberal influence on our society overall, though I can't deny that our membership is based on lies.

  93. G4Z
    IT Angle

    Also @ AC

    I was trying to work out how old you are..

    "Most of us grew up in the aftermath of the Second World War"

    If you grew up in the aftermath of WW2, that makes you a baby boomer. if you are not a baby boomer then you grew up in as much of an aftermath as I did being born in 1981 you can't have it both ways.

    I don't like generalising about whole generations as i mentioned, but I have to say if there is one generation that as a whole has been a huge massive dissapointment it is those of the baby boomer and 60's generations. All that talk of free love world peace and look what you left for us to inherit, a big steaming pile of shit. ( don't mean you personally of course, but you get what I mean)

    That is probably a bit unfair, I hate capatalism and all the greed but then its only the micarcle of capitalism that means I have all my own teeth will probably live beyond 40 and don't have to shit in a field.

    Is it any wonder the young are apathetic, what the fuck are you supposed to make of all this. In the end no matter how much you think about it the final conclusion just has to be... well.. fuck it.

  94. dreadful scathe

    big deal?

    its about time age limits were taken seriously - there should be at least an under age challenge policy like in the U.S. I'd rather that than we take the far more draconian step of increasing the age you can drink from 18 to 21. 18 is fine - ask for evidence - sorted.

  95. michael


    cristian values as in "christ like" I.E the life guidelines give to us by chrst ( the main one being "do on to others" NOT the rules of a church that was Servley croupted in the middle ages will not go into detials now just thought I woud make e distention

  96. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Next they will be doing it to OAP

    O wait a minute they have already been doing that

  97. Wayland Sothcott
    Black Helicopters

    @Can't blame the shops

    It's Fascist!

    There is so much wrong with your comment that it's almost text book example of how this stuff works.

    The government has got the shop assistants enforcing this indirectly via the employers. I was asked my age when buying superglue at BnQ. I was 43 and she was in her 50's. I said are you seriously expecting me to answer that? I never actually told her my age. We both knew it was stupid but that's not how it works.

    They are only doing their jobs. They are following orders. You can't go wrong if you do as you are told. You can only be a bad person if you break the rules. In fact that's the definition of a bad person, someone who breaks the rules.

    The fact that this is such a mundane activity, popping to the shops to buy some beer. It's just to stop underage people getting drunk and knifing people. Who could be against that?

    We are seeing incremental change.

  98. babz

    View Points from a shop worker

    I've worked selling alcohol for last 3-4 years and I can assure you that its a bigger headache to the staff than it is to you. There are posters in the store that I work (reasonable large frozen food company) telling the staff if you serve under 18s its a £10,000 fine, which you will be expected to pay. Hell I earn £6 an hour, if you want your booze and don't look old then no booze for you, pretty simple.

    With military ID i'd be likely to accept it (because the cops can't pull fake ID), and treating one of "our boys" in such a manner is disgraceful. Oh and if your challenged for ID and you don't have it, then you can't buy the alcohol without the shop/cashier committing an offence.

    Under 18's need authorisation from 18+ y/o staff to serve alcohol.

  99. Julian

    Next they will be doing it to OAP

    The news item you have referenced is a very good example as to why we should resist the current march (dash) into a mis-micro managed society in which we will all be the losers. Might as well be Cyborgs or Robots.

    The next step is presumed guilt and the thought police - but we're already going that way, inexorably, unless we can do something about it. We need a strong politician, possibly like Obama who has stated he will roll back state intervention.

    I would like to quote Benjamin Franklin, again, with this very apt statement. "Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither"

    And which has been paraphrased many ways as below:-

    He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither.

    People willing to trade their freedom for security deserve neither and will lose both.

    If we restrict liberty to attain security we will lose them both.

    Any society that would give up liberty to gain security will deserve neither and lose both.

    He who gives up freedom for safety deserves neither.

    Those who give up their liberty for more security neither deserve liberty nor security.

  100. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    customer is often wrong

    lets face it - in this country when it comes to banning things the customer is often wrong - my local Sainbury's insisted that I couldn't buy 2 packets of ibuprofen together with two packets of paracetamol because they have a two painkiller packet policy - when I tried to explain to the manager that it's perfectly safe to take ibuprofen at the same as paracetamol and that you'd need a lot more ibuprofen to do any harm they weren't having it and insisted on sticking by the subordinates initial decision - never mind the facts/science/medicine/the law - I even wrote to their HQ (nothing than like gross stupidity to annoy me) and they insisted they did the right thing.

    it's their shop and they can sell whatever they want to whoever they want but I doubt whether retailers are the right people to be policing who buys what and in what quantity.

  101. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    weighing it up....... losing a passport vs kids who are going to get drunk anyway

    I'm sorry but hundreds of people losing or being put at risk of losing (or having them stolen!) VERY important documents is a far worse problem than a couple of 19 year olds getting drunk.

    I HATE being expected to take my freaking PASSPORT when I need to "prove" how old I am. Why should I have to carry important documents on me all the time just because I don't look old enough to buy what I am legally allowed to buy ????!

    I don't drive and even if I driving licence and passport would both have specific purposes. One would be to allow me to DRIVE and the other to allow me to get into other countries. I did not sign up for it so I could flash it to every shop keeper on the block. It is my personal possesion and a very important one at that. One that will be ridiculously bad and troublesome for me to lose. (not to mention if our entire biometric ID's are lost or stolen! What will they do to fix that problem? Implant chips in us all?!)

    Knives, medicine etc should not be restricted. It is a free country. If someone wants to overdose, who cares? That is their right to do so.

    NEWSFLASH, the drunk delinquent kids are getting their booze from their OLDER FRIENDS, OLDER BROTHERS AND SISTERS and in some cases PARENTS.

    Unless the police plan to sit outside of all shops that sell booze and watch for the shady 'transactions', or take the names of everyone who buys alcohol, and get proof of the drinkage, then alcohol is still going to get passed on to kids, and all these protect-the-children laws are doing is harassing and making life hard for law-abiding adults trying to get on with life and have some peace and privacy while making a normal purchase.

    We all should have the basic right to do that, instead of being treated like a liar or a criminal, which seems to be the angle this government is taking with regards to all new laws and regulations.

  102. Anonymous Coward

    Barclaycard works better than a miltary ID then...

    Happened to me last year at the age of 25 the week I moved house. Naturally being a law abiding citizen I'd sent my driving license off to have its address updated... a witches coven, I mean 3 checkout ladies all decided I didn't look 21 and that I couldn't have alcohol.

    That changed when I said I was paying via credit card. Checkout lady took one look at that and said 'you have to be 18 to have one of those don't you?' and beeps the alcohol through.

    I didn't think a Barclaycard was exactly a legal form of ID but hey... common sense prevailed I suppose!

  103. Another Anonymous Coward

    All this has changed pretty quickly.

    I'm 21, at age 16 I had no problem getting served in wetherspoons, the staff just didn't care. Nowadays, they always ask me for ID... which I don't have after losing my passport on a night out. Do have an expired student card which does the trick 90% of the time though.

    I don't have any problems with other pubs/ clubs... wetherspoons only bother because they're always so busy, other places won't turn away the custom unless you look like a rowdy bugger... which was probably the real reason those marines got turned away.

    Supemarkets are the other one that's big on ID... but that varies wildly between checkout staff. A friend of mine works in Tesco and according to her there's only one tesco-evangelist person working there who will be completely and utterly obtuse when it comes to ID (sorry granny, no brandy for you!)... everyone else just wants to keep the queue moving along and waiting for someone to fumble around with their wallet for an ID card doesn't help with that.

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