The Government are aware that there are certain websites which offer to sell fake identity cards, and that there is a concern that young people may try and use them to purchase alcohol unlawfully. It is, of course, illegal to sell alcohol to under-18s. It is the responsibility of retailers to have adequate procedures in place and appropriate training for staff, if they wish to have a licence to sell alcohol.
Many retailers have now adopted a ‘Think 21’ policy, where anyone appearing to be under 21 should be asked for identification prior to any sale of alcohol, which will prevent an offence being committed. Valid forms of identification include a passport or a driving licence with a photo. The Home Office also supports the Proof of Age Standards (PASS) scheme, which establishes a common standard for issuing the various proof of age cards that are available. PASS accredited cards carry a secure hologram which helps retailers to identify genuine proof of age cards. Following on from the success of the Alcohol Misuse Enforcement Campaigns, in May 2007 we will be conducting a national Tackling Under Age Sales of Alcohol Campaign, which will test whether or not retailers ask for valid identification from potential underage purchasers of alcohol.