You’d think that a cartoon picture of Bobby Hill (of King of the Hill fame) on an ID card would raise booze salesmen’s eyebrows.
But in an undercover operation, a teenager used it successfully to buy alcohol six times in England’s Nottinghamshire county. Moreover, the age given on the card was 17 — under legal drinking age in Britain.
Over half of the 22 stores checked by the county council trading standards operation either sold the teenager alcohol without asking for identification at all, or accepted the Bobby Hill ID. Six stores checked his fake ID card, but still sold him the alcohol. Another seven stores didn’t ask for identification.
“We take the sale of age-restricted products to children very seriously,” said Mick Murphy, the chairman of the council’s community safety committee. “Although the volunteer was 18, we would strongly recommend that retailers always ask purchasers of goods such as alcohol and cigarettes for identification if they look under 25.
“It is disappointing that around a quarter of the shops tested did not properly check the identification that they asked for before accepting it. We are warning shops that we are considering using a child with fake ID following the results of this exercise,” Murphy added.
The council said that it would advise all the retailers who incorrectly served the volunteer, encouraging them to adopt a “Challenge 25” policy when selling products that require a minimum age.
Under “Challenge 25,” anyone who is older than 18 but looks younger than 25 is encouraged to carry acceptable ID, such as a card bearing the PASS hologram, a driving license with a photo or a passport.