I was talking with a friend who recently visited the liquor store to buy wine for a dinner party and a few specialty beers for her husband. Her teenage son was with her at the time as they were out doing errands together. Although she had no plans to give any of the alcohol to her son, much to her surprise, when she got to the cash she was refused service. She found this experience very frustrating and embarrassing and felt rather annoyed at the inconvenience.
In Ontario, it’s illegal to consume alcohol before the age of 19. It’s also illegal for anyone to supply alcohol to minors. The LCBO’s social responsibility policy reminds would-be purchasers that when staff have reasonable grounds to believe someone is buying for a minor, the Liquor License Act gives them the right and responsibility to refuse the sale. These “reasonable grounds” would vary slightly with staffs individual discretion and recent experiences. And while few would argue against the need for such policy, what does that mean for those of us who frequently shop with our children, including when visiting our local liquor outlets?
Do you bring your children with you when you visit the local liquor or beer store? What has your experience been and what are your thoughts on the issue? Is it OK to take our kids, particularly our teens, into the store with us? Or should we leave them at home?