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Liquor Licenses holding a Wine Expanded Permit (WEP) are required to use a transactional scanning device to check, legally acceptable identification cards as proof of age of all patrons appearing to be under the age of 35 years, who want to purchase wine-to-go. Patrons 21 years or older of age can legally purchase wine, but WEP holders must still use the transactional device for all patrons appearing to be under 35 years of age.

The wording of the statute restricts WEP licensees to accepting as proof of age only those ID’s that can be scanned using the transactional device, which usually would be state photo drivers’ licenses. WEP licensees cannot accept as proof of age for anyone, who appears to be under 35 years of age, any ID’s that cannot be scanned such as military ID’s, passports, or visas.

Licensees should have a transaction scanning device a/k/a swipe machine on their licensed premises anyway, in order to guard against minors who attempt to fraudulently obtain alcoholic beverages with the use of fake identification cards. These fake ID cards can be easily obtained by minors via the internet, and are difficult to distinguish from valid ID cards.

The WEP licensee must be RAMP certified so the licensee’s individually RAMP certified sales clerk at the designated wine-to-go cash register should be aware of the type of ID cards that can be legally accepted. The swipe machine should be at the wine-to-go cash register.

The WEP liquor licensee will commit a violation of the Liquor Code when patrons appearing under 35 are not challenged to produce and have scanned legally acceptable proof of age ID’s, even though the patron is 21 years or older. Of course, the sale of any alcoholic beverages to an underage patron is a violation of the sales to minors provision of the Liquor Code.

The Liquor Code has made an exception for WEP holders regarding the Liquor Code charge of permitting minors to frequent the licensed premises. This charge does not apply to WEP holders at the specific, designated wine-to go cash register. The charge of permitting minors to frequent a licensed premises still applies to the rest of the WEP holder’s licensed premises. WEP holders have to be careful.