Too Much Regulation? Man, 82, Carded Buying Beer
on 02/07/11 at 10:17 amBooze News
Senior citizen Dale Schneck of Schnecksville reached into the beer cooler at Weis Market along Route 873 in North Whitehall Township, took out a 12-pack and presented it to clerk Linda Henninger for purchase.
“I’ll need your driver’s license,” she said.
“Don’t think I’m old enough?” frowned the 82-year-old Schneck as he opened his wallet.
Henninger explained that everyone who wants to buy alcoholic beverages at Weis, regardless of age, must present a driver’s license or a valid photo ID.
As Schneck attempted to show her the license that was still in the wallet, she said, “I’ll need it out of the wallet, because I have to run it through the register.”
Schneck struggled to remove the license from its plastic prison, but the license would not come free. After nearly two minutes of tugging and pushing, a frustrated Schneck said, “Ah, the heck with it; I’ll just go to the beer distributor.”
“You’re going to have to do the same thing there,” Henninger told him.
In response to a question about the awkward encounter, Henninger admitted that the state does not require driver’s licenses to be run through the cash register for verification. “It’s a Weis policy, but it will be a state law very soon,” she said.
A sign prominently posted at the café register where alcoholic beverages must be purchased contradicted what Henninger said. “Due to state and company regulations and policies,” the sign says, “anyone purchasing alcohol must present a valid photo ID, regardless of age.”
State Liquor Control Board counsel Jim Mayer says the sign is inaccurate, at least as far as the state requirement goes. Mayer said there is a pending bill in the state legislature affecting Philadelphia only, but, he says he sees nothing on the horizon for such a statewide mandate.
“This is an internal Weis policy,” Mayer says, adding that Wegman’s has a similar 100 percent carding policy.
As it turned out, Schneck went to the Liberty Bell Beer Distributor just off Route 309 in North Whitehall Township and made the purchase without incident.