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Foreign Passport Proof of 21 Age for Booze?
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Foreign Passport Proof of 21 Age for Booze?

05.24.11
Chipotle Mexican Grill is at the center of a brewing debate about the validity of foreign passports as proof of age for beer and liquor sales. Having recently been hammered in the press over employment of illegal Mexican immigrants, the Mexican-themed chain has stepped into another briar patch.

According to news reports. Laurencio Valadez, a Mexican national, said a Chipotle store manager rejected his Mexican passport as proof of his identity and age, saying several times that only a U.S. passport would be acceptable, according to a legal complaint filed against the company.

"My client felt particularly humiliated being a Mexican, at a self-advertised Mexican grill, who was denied service,' Bruce Nestor, a lawyer for Valadez, now 39, said in an interview.

We understand the difficulty of monitoring the validity of 50 different state driver's licenses as proof of age. Requiring that passports from other countries be accepted makes the job significantly harder.

We will watch this case, as it may impose a duty to accept foreign passports as proof of age.

For now, we encourage licensees to use common sense. If a customer presents a foreign passport and appears to be 21 or younger, try to obtain another age ID or refuse service. If the customer with the foreign passport appears to be older, like the 39 year old Mexican plaintiff, let him belly up to the bar.

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