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A step too far?

10th August, 2010

Last Friday evening, after a very delicious fish and chips dinner on the beach, my husband and I decided it was wine o’clock (well actually he decided it was wine o’clock, I decided it was time for a big slab of lemon cheesecake). We went into our local supermarket which shall not be named (it has 8 letters and begins with W), where we queued up to pay for our Friday night goodies. The checkout girl who was younger than me asked for our IDs, which my husband had but I did not. So she called over her manager (who again was younger than me), and we explained to her that I was unlikely to be under 18 as my husband is 28 years old and I am a married person! She wasn’t sure what to do, so she called over her supervisor…..long and short of it was they refused to serve us!!

OK, I know I should have had ID, but it has been sent to the DVLA to change my name, and it is not very practical to carry round a passport each time you go to the supermarket. I know Britain has a bad reputation when it comes to under age drinking, but is this a step too far?

I told this story to Tom (our ex and very much missed employee) and he had a similar story where he was with his Dad who happened to being buying beer, and they refused to serve him as well just in case his Dad was buying the beer for him.  He bought it anyway when he told Tom to wait in the car. Doesn’t this completely defeat the object? If a teenager wants alcohol, they will find a means of getting it…..believe me I know, it wasn’t too long ago when I was a teenager myself.

What were the government thinking, when they created 24 hour licensing laws!?! In my opinion countries like France and Italy have got it right. Children are taught from a young age how to appreciate alcohol and are given small amounts of wine with meal times.  In Britain however, the more you prevent young people from getting drinks, the more determined they are to find it.

I think we have a long way to go yet…..and punishing 23 year olds like me because I haven’t got my ID certainly does not help the process.

Rosanna Ward

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