News & Insights
Feb 19, 2015
Sales to minors is the number one issue facing Tennessee restaurants, bars and venues. The Tennessee ABC has stepped up compliance checks. Despite best efforts, even seasoned servers and bartenders are failing.
Dedicated owners are serving suspensions of their liquor and beer permits. State law now requires that beer boards and the ABC notify each other of suspensions, generally leading to two suspensions for the same sale to minor. The ABC now imposes a 14 day suspension for a second sale to minor in 3 years.
Veteran servers and bartenders are being criminally charged for selling to minors. If convicted, the server or bartender cannot work in the industry in Tennessee for 8 years.
The consequences for failing a compliance check are serious for the business and the employee.
We looked into some possible changes for Tennessee drivers licenses and were taught an excellent lesson. We thank Senator Bill Ketron and Micki Yearwood, Senior Legislative Advisor, for help on this issue.
You don't have to look at the person's date of birth and calculate if the person is over 21.
Each under 21 ID has a red box around the photo. On the right hand side of the red box is the date that the person turns 21. It is not as easy to read, but reading the date in the red box requires no math. If you know today's date, you can instantly tell if the person is old enough to purchase alcohol.
Not sure why, but a Tom Wait 1975 classic comes to mind:
warm beer and cold women, I just don't fit in
every joint I stumbled into tonight
that's just how it's been
all these double knit strangers with
gin and vermouth and recycled stories
in the naugahyde booths
We have recently met with top ABC agents and the ABC Director about ABC compliance checks. Based on our experience, the ABC uses informants that are actually under 21 and present an ID that clearly shows the informant is under 21. No funny business. These are clean stings where servers just make mistakes.
We encourage all Tennessee industry members to rethink how they card. You do not need folks to know the born on date. No math is needed. Jut look at the date on the right side of the red box around the photo.
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