It is the responsibility of retailers to ensure that they have adequate procedures in place to prevent alcohol being sold to people aged under 18 and that their staff are appropriately trained, to enforce this. 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. The PASS hologram on a card is the hallmark indicating that the card issuer has passed a stringent audit carried out by Trading Standards Officers and that the card may be relied upon.
Following on from the success of the Alcohol Misuse Enforcement Campaigns, since May 2007 we have been conducting a national Tackling Under Age Sales of Alcohol Campaign, which is testing whether or not retailers ask for valid identification from potential underage purchasers of alcohol.