Although all licensed venues and alcohol retail operators should be aware that it is illegal to sell alcohol to persons under the age of 18, you should also have an active role in preventing minors from purchasing alcohol in-store. RMLV training is an effective method of gaining the knowledge on how to implement procedures to prevent this situation. In the meantime, here are some important facts and policies.
Although it is challenging enough to tell how old someone is, the following factors can make your job even more difficult.
• Adult dress
• Deception tactics
• Busy store
• Intimidating attitudes
• Large groups
• Threatening behaviour
You and your staff will be subjected to any one of these factors at some point during your operations. However, you can implement the following simple and steadfast procedures to uphold the law and protect your staff.
The ‘No Proof No Sale’ Policy
• Be Cautious – Advise staff to check the ID of all customers purchasing alcohol who appear to be 25 years old or under.
• Be Consistent – It is best to check whenever you’re in doubt of a customers’ age – even if you think you may have served them before.
• Be Clear – Ensure there is visible signage informing customers that their ID may be checked when making a purchase.
• Be Courteous – When you have to refuse a sale, it is best to keep application forms on hand that direct a customer on how to obtain a proof of age card or refer the customer to where they can obtain one.
• Be Conscientious – It is good practice to maintain a record of all refusals so that you and your staff have an accurate record of times and dates of sale, items refused and the physical appearance of the customer so that staff are aware of any problem customers as well as a record that can be submitted as evidence in certain circumstances.
• Be Careful – Ensure your staff are trained on how to handle situations that may result in violence from underage purchasers.