Can a cashier ask to see my ID if I’m not the one buying alcohol? What California law says

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California has strict requirements for alcohol licensees to check identification of anyone suspected of being under the legal drinking age, but what if you’re not the one purchasing alcohol — can a cashier ask to see your ID, too?

Devin Blankenship, a spokesperson for the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, said there is no specific California law requiring when licensees have to ID customers during alcohol sales.

“It is all up to the licensees to set policies regarding selling to people 21 and over,” Blankenship said in an email. “Licensees have the right to set any parameters of ID checking when they wish as they are not required to sell alcohol to anyone except on their terms.”

When do cashiers ID during alcohol sales in California?

Businesses set their own ID policies for alcohol sales.

California Business & Professions Code 25658 states any person or business that sells or gives an alcoholic beverage to a minor can be guilty of a misdemeanor and receive a fine of $250.

In agreement with this law, Blankenship said businesses can set their own regulations to prevent having their license suspended or revoked for selling to minors or allowing them to consume alcohol on their property.

“I would think this would be more of a store or company policy in terms of the checking other IDs besides the buyer,” Blankenship said.

While someone under the age of 21 cannot drink or buy alcohol, Blankenship said there is an exception that allows for alcoholic beverages to be carried by someone under 21 if the container is unopened or sealed.

For example, Blankenship said “kids can help load the groceries without the fear of being cited” even if there is alcohol present.

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