We ID! That’s a logo and a mantra at many convenience stores in our area, which is intended to tell minors they can’t buy tobacco or alcohol. Here’s a story from Fort Worth about a liquor store that allegedly sold vodka to an underage patron that ended very badly.

In the story, the owner of the store says that he recently made a mistake and didn’t ID an underage buyer that had been sent in a sting operation. But, he explains, “I was so tired and exhausted and I wasn’t even paying attention” before assuring the readers: “I check IDs, and if they’re too young, they aren’t getting anything.”

I don’t know what the protocol for ID-ing an alcohol buyer is supposed to be, but a couple days ago, at the Walmart in Odessa, two men clearly in their 60’s got carded before they could purchase two large cases of beer.

They were in line behind me, so I was already walking away when I heard the clerk ask both for identification: “Since you are together, I have to see ID from both of you,” she said. I didn’t think I heard her right since I was already walking away and they were both obviously old enough to be AARP members. But, I hesitated long enough to see both of them present their driver’s licenses. One actually gave me a sly grin as I turned to leave. I wanted to verify their ages at the door, but thought I better mind my own business.

If a manager from the east Odessa Walmart reads this, you can be sure that at least one checker does ID those buying alcohol . . .  even if they obviously aren’t minors.

I’m guessing this is part of the zero tolerance movement that sets certain rules that eliminate judgment on the part of those in authority. In this case, the clerk apparently doesn’t have to make any determination . . . just ask EVERYBODY for ID. Maybe it’s better this way for alcohol purchases, but I’m afraid zero tolerance policies generally dumb down society and end up hurting people along the way. Usually, the stories of zero tolerance lunacy come from elementary schools, but I think I’ve found one here, too.

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