The Indiana Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association announced Tuesday that 13 chains covering 458 Indiana locations will begin requiring their clerks to check the IDs of all customers purchasing alcohol, starting in the next few weeks, the Indiana Star reported.
The announcement coincides with the state legislature’s review of several alcohol bills, including one that would require mandatory ID checks for all customers at alcohol retailers.
“If this is such good policy, and we believe that it is, why wait for the Indiana General Assembly to mandate it?” Kelly McClure, president of the association told the Indiana Star. “This voluntary action is further evidence to show how seriously our industry takes its responsibility when it comes to selling age-restricted products.”
Last year, a two-year sting program conducted by the State Excise Police concluded discovered 35% of the more than 9,000 establishments they visited did not check the ID of their underage decoy when he tried to purchase alcohol.
“Despite our best efforts, mistakes are made, and we believe this step will be significant toward minimizing the mistakes that would be made in the future,” McClure said. “While checking the identification of all alcohol purchasers may be a hassle or inconvenience for customers, we hope they understand that those few seconds of inconvenience are well worth it to keep alcohol out of the hands of the wrong people.”
The convenience store association also is campaigning for the right to sell cold beer and to sell alcohol on Sundays. Sunday carryout sales now are limited to restaurants, while liquor stores maintain the exclusive right to sell cold beer. Sen. Phil Boots, R-Crawfordsville introduced Senate Bill 138, which would make those two changes in addition to making ID checks mandatory.
But Sen. Ron Alting, R-Lafayette, said Tuesday he would not hear Boots’ bill in his Senate Public Policy Committee stating that lawmakers from the House and the Senate made it clear they opposed changes in cold beer and Sunday sales.
Alting, however, said he favored legislation that would put mandatory carding in place, but thinks the law should be required only for customers who appear to be younger than 40 or 50.
“It’s absolutely ridiculous to . . . card a man who is in his upper years,” Alting told the Indiana Star, “and I think what’s going to end up happening is that the waiter or clerk is going to get the backlash from the customer.”
Other alcohol bills are also on the table. Alting’s committee will hear a proposal to let microbreweries sell a limited amount of their product on Sundays, similar to a provision already in place for the state’s wineries. He predicted the committee would approve the bill.
Legislation that would end the practice of prohibiting carryout alcohol sales while polls are open on election days also is likely to be considered. That proposal won unanimous approval by a study committee last year.
The following c-store chains in Indiana will soon require all customers who purchase alcohol to show ID: Village Pantry, Speedway, Circle K, Gas America, McClure, Ricker’s, am/pm, Luke’s, Good to Go, Chuckles, Circle A Food Marts, Super-Test and Gallahan Kwik Marts.