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Alco-Popped Their Bubble

, , , , , , , , | Right | December 3, 2021

I am the deputy manager of a liquor store. In the UK, one can purchase alcohol for your own consumption from the age of eighteen, but it is illegal to purchase alcohol on behalf of a minor.

A woman enters and is shortly followed by two girls dressed in full school uniforms. As the woman browses, the two girls walk to the counter I am standing at and, as I look on in bemusement, review our selection of alcopops. Then, the woman joins them at the counter and asks them what they want. In full view of the CCTV cameras and me, the girls literally stand and point out what they want.

Customer: “I’ll have two of your large bottles of [Alcopop], too.”

Me: “I’m very sorry, but I have to refuse that sale unless the two young ladies accompanying you can show me their IDs.”

Customer: “What?! That’s outrageous! Why?!”

Me: “Well, I have to remind you that it is illegal to buy alcohol on behalf of a minor.”

Customer: “They are my daughters! They can drink in my home if I tell them they can, and who are you to say that they can’t?!”

Me: “Unfortunately, I have no way of knowing that they are your daughters. What I do have is CCTV footage — which will be reviewed by the police — that shows school children selecting alcohol for you to buy them. There is no way I could process this sale and keep my job.”

Customer: “This is outrageous. I’m just going to go and buy the same things at a different location.”

And then they stormed off. I later learned that there is, in fact, a provision in law where children of a certain age under eighteen can drink alcohol at home under the supervision of their legal guardian, but who thinks sending in children in full school uniform to buy booze is a good idea?!

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