Convenience Store Giant Innovates to Stop Underage Drinking

Hopes it becomes an industry standard.

By US Daily Review Staff.

7-Eleven, Inc. is taking a new and aggressive approach to enhance its social and corporate responsibility for illegal underage sales of age-restricted products. This month the company launches a new technology in each of its 7-Eleven® stores in the Washington DC area that will scan the 2-D code on the back of a customer’s driver license or identification card when age-restricted products are being purchased. This scan will verify the birth date stored on the card but will not store any other information about the customer.

“We believe that this new system takes compliance at 7-Eleven to the next level,” says Keith Jones, 7-Eleven’s senior director of government affairs.

“Illegal sales of age-restricted items to minors are a serious concern for the Washington DC area,” said Jones. “Over the last 15 years laws have been enacted and enforced to restrict the sale of alcohol, tobacco and potential inhalants to minors. Although making an illegal under-age purchase is harder than ever, there is still work to be done and preventative measures to be taken.”

“7-Eleven responded to the needs of its franchisees,” says franchise owner Iris Yost. “We are passionate about not selling age-restricted items to minors. Because laws often place the burden on the store operator, franchisee or selling cashier, we need every protection available. The ID Scan technology we now have will go a long way in stemming wrongful age-restricted sales.”

7-Eleven has been a pioneer in the fight against illegal underage sales for nearly 30 years. In 1984, the company developed its “Come of Age” training and awareness program that specifically targeted illegal sale of alcohol to minors, after-hours sales, sales made on behalf of a minor and consuming alcohol on store premises. The program expanded in 1994 to include all age-restricted products: tobacco, lottery tickets and potential inhalants. 7-Eleven is underwriting the cost to upgrade all franchise registers, at no-cost to any of its franchisees.

“7-Eleven considers this a small price to pay to combat the serious nature of illegal under-age sales,” said Jones. “Penalties for such offenses are steep with an ultimate result of a possible loss of alcohol license.”

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.

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