So many factors go into a person’s appearance. From the way they dress or their occupation to the presence of wrinkles, these can all make a person appear younger or older than they really are. While this doesn’t have a big impact on everyday life, it does impact alcohol servers.
After all, it can be difficult these days to tell whether someone is of legal age to drink or not. That's why many regulations and standards require patrons to present an identification card regardless of age.
But there are a few tells that will help you identify those who might really be underage. Let’s go over three of them.
The ID Card Itself
First off, the easiest way to tell if someone is underage: their identification card. Those of legal age hardly ever need (or even want) to fabricate an ID card, unless they have something to hide. The information you should scan or look at on an identification card includes:
- Expiration date
- Date of birth
- State-specific card features
Also, confirm the card shows no signs of tampering and that it looks genuine. Compare to your own driver’s license if you’re suspicious and consider asking the patron to verify their name or date of birth to confirm it’s legit.
The Person’s Behavior
If the card looks real and the person themself looks of legal age, pay attention to their behavior for any signs or symptoms of nervousness. Maybe they avoid eye contact. Or, they could be fidgeting or hesitate when placing an order. Of course, these could all be signs of someone who is an introvert, but they could also tip you off that there’s more to the story than it appears.
The Person’s Interactions
Finally, the person’s social interactions or how they communicate can let you know that this person could be lying about their age. If they keep asking about alcohol choices, they’re not experienced with alcohol at the very least. Or, if other people in the group keep encouraging one person to drink, it’s another potential red flag. Obviously, you could overhear a reference to the person being underage as well. Just be observant as you serve alcohol and follow your gut intuition when it comes to warning signs of underage drinkers.
Serving alcohol is difficult enough without having to tell if someone is underage, but proper training can make it easier. If you’re in a role where you serve alcohol, consider signing up for our TABC Certification Course today!