Alcohol Awareness

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A story in the Penn State Daily Collegian reveals another drawback of Pennsylvania's liquor retailing monopoly: It turns out that the state's system for verifying the ages of alcohol buyers feeds a database that tracks booze purchases.

When a patron's ID is scanned to ensure authenticity at a liquor store, the person's purchase and identification information is added to the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board's (PLCB) electronic database in Harrisburg, PLCB spokeswoman Molly McGowan said.

Police can retrieve the information for use in criminal cases, she said.

For example, an underage man died of alcohol poisoning at a party in Bloomsburg about two years ago, McGowan said. Going back through the electronic database, authorities were able to locate where the alcohol was purchased and find the person responsible for bringing it to the party, she said. The buyer was later criminally charged for his involvement, she added.

If the police need to keep tabs on tequila sales, maybe they should also track purchases of cigarettes and pornography, in case they too end up in the hands of minors. And what about all the other products that could be used to break the law? It might be best if retailers simply turned over all sales records to the police, who could then decide what was relevant to their work.

[Thanks to John Perna for the link.]

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  1. Holy Cow this is screwed up. Think about the possibilities ? how long before future employers tap into that data base and request the drinking habits of interviewees?

    I wonder if it?s possible to refuse to have your driver licenses scanned. Do they allow for other forms of ID?

    This is scary news.

  2. The real crime in Pennsylvania is the price gouging of the consumer, supported by the State backed monopoly. A case of MGD costs more than $20!

    I have never had my driver’s license scanned at the beer store; they usually just look at it and give it back.

  3. Hmmm. Half the booze I buy is purchased by a mostly non-drinking man – the liquore stores just happens to be on his route home. Thank god we don’t live in P.A., the poor sap would have a record of my excesses!

  4. Not only is that price for a case of MGD a sin, that you drink that swill is just WRONG.

  5. Steve said >

    Who said I drink it?

  6. I hate the PA liquor monopoly as much as anybody, but where in PA do you live where you pay $20 for a case of MGD?

  7. They do this in Virginia as well. I noticed it when I purchased some bourbon and they entered my driver’s license ID (almost my social security number) into their computer before handing the license back. This is why I mostly drink beer paid for in cash.

  8. Steve, aren’t you from Milwaukee? I thought that Miller was like holy water to you people.

  9. Wow, recording alcohol purchases in a database — that’s unbelievable. I hope my mayor (Mike Bloomberg) isn’t reading this.

  10. these fuggin prices make me wanna choke the liquor board plus that is concidered entrapment when they bust u with this info so i think they should keep theyre big fuckin noses up the ass s of the faggot queers in the capitol

  11. anyone from the ucf area in fl

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