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If you are the owner of an establishment in Texas that sells liquor, you must remain compliant with Texas liquor law, or you could find yourself needing the services of a liquor insurance defense attorney. One of the things those in the Texas liquor insurance defense industry urge their clients to do is to ensure that they are paying close attention to checking the identification of all customers, no matter how old they look. Serving alcohol to a minor in Texas could not only cost a server their job, it can also cause the establishment to lose its liquor license or insurance. Though a Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission Law Firm can help, prevention is the key to not requiring a liquor insurance defense.
Alcohol Age and ID Law in Texas
Federally, the legal age to purchase and consume alcohol is 21, and any establishment selling alcohol is required to check the buyer’s identification. Texas, however, has its own laws in place that dictate when and how a buyer must show an ID, and these policies might not be the same as bar and restaurant policies.
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Texas law states that a person who is over 21 does not have to show an ID to buy alcohol, and there is nothing within the law that dictates what a “proper” ID is. However, the law also says that a server, bar or restaurant cannot be held liable for an underage sale if the minor has provided a fake ID that looks valid. Since this is the case, for protection, almost all Texas servers and businesses, they will check all IDs, even if it is not required by Texas law.
Spotting a Fake ID
To ensure that you are not putting yourself in a position where you can be found liable for underage drinking, you must know how to identify a fake ID. Here are some tips that can help:
- Ensure that the license is in the horizontal format. Vertical licenses are for those under the age of 21.
- Touch the ID card and feel its texture. A Texas ID is not made of cardboard, nor is it as stiff as a credit card. You should also feel for raised edges and bumps.
- Always look at the expiration date. If it is expired, it is not automatically fake.
- Check for alterations of the photo and the birth date. These are areas that are commonly changed by those trying to appear older than they really are.
- Keep a flashlight handy so you can look for state seals and watermarks, which are on every valid identification card.
- If you become suspicious of any ID, ask the person to tell you their birthday and address. If they are hesitant or do not give an accurate response, it is likely that the ID is a fake one.
- If you still believe that the ID is fake, ask the person to sign their name, and then compare this to the signature on the card.
As a person who works in the hospitality industry or owns an establishment that serves alcohol has a responsibility to serve alcohol in the correct manner. If not, you could find yourself facing a lawsuit; you could lose your insurance, or worse. If you find yourself in a scary situation such as this, reach out to a local expert in Texas liquor law.