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Here Is a Quick Fix for the Sales to Minor Problem in Tennessee Restaurants, Bars and Clubs
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Here Is a Quick Fix for the Sales to Minor Problem in Tennessee Restaurants, Bars and Clubs

07.30.14
Ask any restaurant, bar or club owner in Tennessee about recent stings for sales to minors.  With tough consequences, sales to minors is near the top of the worry list.

Cheap Trick's classic tune Dream Police seems fitting:

The dream police
They live inside of my head
The dream police
They come to me in my bed
The dream police
They're coming to arrest me
Oh no
 
Based on what we know, the stings involve undercover informants that produce driver's licenses which clearly show the informant is under 21.  Problem is, servers and bouncers misread IDs and the informants order alcohol.

A second sale to minor in two years typically leads to two separate 14 or 15 day suspensions - one for liquor and one for beer.

Tennessee's law about under 21 driver's licenses is a big part of the problem.  Although underage drivers licenses are clearly marked as under 21, the licenses are valid for as long as three years after the person turns 21.

Instead of creating the impression that the person is too young to drink, servers are required to do math to determine if the person really is under 21.

The solution is easy.  Tennessee driver's licenses should expire shortly after someone turns 21.  That way, almost no one with an under 21 license will be of age.

Other states have tackled this problem and we think Tennessee should change its laws to simplify carding.  Here are the laws in a few other

states:

Arizona – Under 21 licenses not valid for alcohol sales 30 days after the 21st birthday.

Colorado – Under 21 licenses expire 20 days after the 21st birthday.

Idaho – Under 21 licensees expire 5 days past 21st birthday.

Kansas – Minor license expires on 21st Birthday.

Kentucky – Under 21 licensees expire 90 days past 21st birthday.

Michigan – Under 21 licenses expire on the 21st birthday.

Minnesota -  Under 21 licenses expire on the 21st birthday.

Montana - Under 21 licenses expire on the 21st birthday.

Nebraska - Under 21 licenses expire on the 21st birthday.

New Hampshire - Under 21 licenses expire on the 21st birthday.

Ohio - Under 21 licenses expire on the 21st birthday.

South Dakota - Under 21 licenses expire 30 days after the 21st birthday.

West Virginia - Under 21 licenses expire 30 days after the 21st birthday.

Wyoming - Under 21 licenses expire on the 21st birthday.

We are encouraging the Tennessee Hospitality and Tourism Association to back legislation to make 21 year olds get new driver's licenses at or closely after their 21st birthday.

If under 21 IDs expire at or close to the 21st birthday, servers can presume that the person is underage.  This significantly reduces the chances of math errors.

If legislation is introduced next winter, we will call on our loyal readers to contact legislators to get the law passed.  Stay tuned.

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