This is when supermarkets can refuse to sell you alcohol

A family were left furious after police were called to Lidl to calm a row over a bottle of rhubarb-flavoured gin.

Wednesday, 17th October 2018, 4:21 pm
Updated Wednesday, 17th October 2018, 4:25 pm
Supermarkets can challenge you for ID if they think you are younger than 25. Picture: David Cheskin/PA Wire

Jackie Chandler from Denmead was in Lidl with her husband Gary and their two teenage daughters – when staff asked to see her 14-year-old daughter’s ID because the trolley contains gin. 

But what policies do the supermarkets in our area have when it comes to serving alcohol? 

Supermarkets can challenge you for ID if they think you are younger than 25. Picture: David Cheskin/PA Wire

What does the law say? 

The Licensing Act 2003 section 150 says that alcohol cannot be sold or served to anyone under the age of 18. 

Although under the same law says that minors aged 16 or 17 may consume wine, beer or cider on licensed premises when ordered with a meal, and accompanied by an adult. 

So if you are under the age of 18, or don’t have identification to prove that you are over the legal age limit – then supermarkets can refuse to sell you booze. 

Challenge 21 or 25

If a supermarket gets caught selling alcohol to minors the punishments can be severe – including large fines. 

So often places operate a Challenge 21 or 25 policy, meaning that if a person buying alcohol looks under theses ages, staff can ask to see an ID to confirm they can legally purchase the drinks. 

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Here is what the supermarkets said

Following yesterday’s story The News contacted supermarkets to ask what their policy on refusing to sell alcohol was – especially when it comes to parents who are with their children and are buying booze. 

Tesco's operates a Think 25 policy - so will challenge anyone who looks under the age of 25 for ID.

They would only challenge and adult who is with a child when buying alcohol if they had reason to believe they may consume the alcohol.

A Tesco spokesman said: 'If they were to give the impression that they were going to consume the alcohol, if they said "I'm looking forward to drinking that" or something along those lines, then we would ask for the second person's ID.'

Asda similarly operate a Challenge 25 policy – meaning that if staff think a person looks under the age of 25 they will ask for ID. 

When it comes to challenging an adult with a child, an Asda spokesman said: ‘We would not refuse to serve cutomers alcohol unless there is very ovious evidence that they were buying it for someone under 18. If a child in the queue said ‘I can’t wait to drink this’ then we would ask for ID.’ 

Aldi operates a Challenge 25 policy. 

Yesterday responding to the complaint’s from the family Lidl confirmed they operate a Challenge 25 policy. 

A spokesperson said: ‘We support our colleagues in using their own judgement to uphold our 'Think 25' policy and, where there is any element of doubt, making the right decision.’