Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

State News

May 6, 2011

New law effective July 1

-- — INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana lawmakers have rolled back a much-disparaged law requiring everyone, regardless of age, to be carded when buying alcohol, but some retailers say they may keep up the practice anyway.

A new law that kicks into effect July 1 means store clerks selling carry-out alcohol will no longer have to ask for proof of age from anyone who \"reasonably\" appears older than 40.

But some retailers say they won\'t be asking their employees to judge whether somebody\'s hit the magic \"40\" mark, and will tell them to keep carding everyone, no matter how old they appear.

\"We\'ve got 60 cashiers working for us and that means 60 different opinions about who looks like they\'re 40,\" said Jerry Corliss, owner of the Chalet Party Shoppe liquor stores in northwest Indiana. \"We\'re going to keep carding everyone.\"

Corliss, past chairman of the Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers, predicts a similar response from other liquor store owners, who like him, were avid supporters of a short-lived state law that required store clerks to ask customers for their ID – even people who looked like their grandmother.

That law went into effect in July 2010, and state legislators quickly heard outcries of protest from people who hadn\'t been asked to show their ID in years. By last fall, legislators started talking about rolling back the law. In April, they did just that, by passing a new law that only requires store clerks card people who appear younger than 40.

Corliss acknowledged there were early complaints about the 2010 law, but said they\'ve died down.

\"The only ones who complain now are 70-year-old guys. They get real mean,\" Corliss said.

John Elliott, manager of public relations for the Kroger stores in Indiana, said customer complaints skyrocketed when the old law went into effect last summer. \"We had overwhelmingly negative feedback, but it quickly faded,\" Elliott said. \"Both our associates and customers got used to it.\"

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