Kids are getting smarter and smarter these days. If you adjust the settings on their phones to limit activity, for example, they can download an app to negate those limitations. This even applies to non-innocent activities like underage drinking.
Yes, with new generations come new tricks for minors to obtain alcohol. They can deceive even the most seasoned alcohol server. To avoid serving alcohol to underage patrons in Utah at your establishment, make sure you're aware of these common techniques minors use to try and obtain alcohol.
- Fake/Altered IDs
The most obvious (and time-tested) technique is to forge an identification card, or alter it slightly. Minors have been attempting to use fake identification cards for nearly as long as they were required to purchase alcohol. To combat this, it’s important to learn the details of a real ID like the back of your hand. From birthdate to the photo, make sure you can spot details that are intentionally deceptive or false.
- Using Friends or Family Members
Minors may also ask a friend, family member or acquaintance to purchase alcohol on their behalf. This is where it helps to ask questions about the age and identification of everyone who will consume the drinks in an order. This is especially true for large orders, as it’s easier for minors to avoid an alcohol seller verifying their age.
- Online Delivery Services
The delivery of alcohol is illegal in Utah, but that doesn’t mean some minors won't attempt to have them shipped or delivered. One loophole minors try to use is ordering alcohol from out of state. While online alcohol sellers should have systems in place to prevent delivery, it gets a little more difficult in border cities or towns and there are always orders that slip through the cracks. If you somehow get an order to deliver alcohol, verify the identification of the person who ordered it.
- Self-Checkout Systems
Some minors attempt to exploit self-checkout systems in stores by purchasing alcohol without any human interaction. Retailers should maintain a strict policy of monitoring and assisting customers during self-checkout, ensuring that identification is verified for any age-restricted purchases.
- Social Gatherings
Another long-standing strategy for minors is to simply sneak or steal drinks from large social gatherings where alcohol is present. It’s easier to accomplish any of the tactics on this list when there are a lot of people. This is why it’s especially important for alcohol sellers to take a course that covers all of the potential signs of suspicious purchases and encourages them to report any concerning activities.
If you’d like more insight on alcohol sales best practices for serving minors in Utah (and other ways to serve alcohol responsibly), sign up for the alcohol seller certification from American Course Academy today.