25 or younger? Don't wait to be asked. Have your I.D. ready

TORONTO, March 6, 2013 /CNW/ - Is your I.D. ready to show? If you're 25 or younger and making a purchase at the LCBO, don't wait to be asked for valid identification by a staff member. LCBO is advising younger-looking customers to have their valid I.D. in-hand when approaching the checkout.

It's the latest step in the evolution of the LCBO's longstanding Check 25 program, in which customers who are 25 or younger should be prepared to show proof of age to increase the likelihood of keeping beverage alcohol out of the hands of minors (those under 19). LCBO staff have traditionally initiated age verification by asking to see valid I.D. at the checkout. It will now be standard practice for customers between the ages of 19 and 25 to have their valid I.D. ready for checking.

The enhanced Check 25 program is supported by bold signage at entrances, cash registers and elsewhere in stores. Starting in 75 GTA-area stores, these signs will be rolled out across the 631-store LCBO network in the coming weeks. Store PA systems will also remind customers who are 25 or younger to have their valid I.D. ready to show at the checkout. The announcements will increase in frequency during the busiest periods.

"Store managers and staff have told us how successful the PA announcements have been in areas with large student populations, so it makes good sense to expand it across the network," said Bob Clevely, senior vice president, Retail Operations. "There have been instances where younger customers have put products back on the shelf and left the store without making a purchase as a result of hearing the 'have your I.D. ready' announcement."

Preventing sales of alcohol to minors and those who appear intoxicated is a year-round responsibility LCBO employees take very seriously. However, refusing a sale can be a challenge. In fact, more than 60 per cent of all staff incident reports stem from negative reaction to a service refusal, and frequently result in verbal and on occasion physical abuse of staff. LCBO expects the shift to having valid I.D. ready will help reduce such incidents, and contribute to keeping alcohol out of the hands of minors.

LCBO has a strong track record when it comes to responsible retailing. In 2011-12, LCBO retail staff challenged more than 6.3 million people who appeared underage or intoxicated. More than 290,000 were refused service; 84 per cent of refusals were for reasons of age. Year to date, retail staff have challenged almost 7 million customers, and lack of valid I.D. continues to be the primary reason for refusal.

"It's in everyone's interest to keep alcohol out of the hands of minors, and we appreciate the public's understanding and support for our enhanced Check 25 program," added Mr. Clevely.

(Please see attached backgrounder for more information about LCBO's Check 25 program and commitment to responsible retailing).

(Photos of the "25 or under? Have your I.D. ready" artwork are available upon request).


BACKGROUNDER: LCBO'S "25 OR YOUNGER? HAVE YOUR I.D. READY" PROGRAM

LCBO's Check 25 Program

  • LCBO's year-round Check 25 program is a core responsible retailing program that helps prevent sales to minors (those aged under 19) by checking the I.D. of anyone who looks younger than 25. This six-year "buffer" encourages retail staff to check for I.D.

  • Preventing sales to minors is an everyday, year-round responsibility LCBO employees take very seriously.

  • This longstanding program is now evolving by asking those customers who are younger than 25, or appear to be, to have their valid I.D. ready to be checked.  Previously, LCBO staff asked customers to show I.D. at the checkout if they questioned their legal drinking age.

  • The Check 25 signage will be in LCBO's 631 stores across Ontario, starting in 75 GTA stores this week.

  • LCBO's Check 25 program now features the tagline: "25 or younger? Have your I.D. ready."

  • This change aims to build further awareness among LCBO customers of the Check 25 policy, encourage individuals to be proactive and have their I.D. ready if they are or look younger than 25, and to help LCBO staff ensure that alcohol is not sold to minors.

  • New visual and audio materials in LCBO stores include English and French elements such as:

    • announcements on the PA system
    • exterior signs
    • posters
    • signs attached to cash register screens
    • cash counter decals
    • shopping cart signs
    • reminder signs throughout the store

LCBO's Challenge & Refusal Program

  • As part of LCBO's commitment to responsible service, Check 25 is complemented by the organization's Challenge & Refusal Program which aims to prevent sales to minors and those who appear intoxicated.

  • In Ontario, it's illegal to purchase or consume alcohol before the age of 19.

  • In 2011-12, LCBO staff challenged 6.3 million individuals, for failing to produce valid I.D., appearing intoxicated or attempting to purchase for a minor or an impaired individual. More than 290,000 people were refused service, with 84 per cent for reasons of age. So far this year, LCBO retail staff has challenged almost 7 million customers and lack of valid I.D. remains the primary reason for refusals.

LCBO Employee Training

  • Every LCBO Retail Store employee serving the public takes part in the organization's Challenge & Refusal: It's not Personal. It's the Law. training program. It trains staff on how to deal with customers who appear intoxicated or underage, second-party purchasers (those buying alcohol for someone not legally entitled to purchase it) and difficult refusals at the checkout counter.

  • Refresher employee training is carried out prior to the holiday period and routine practice updates are provided at other key times of the year or as needed.

Valid Forms of I.D. in Ontario

  • In order to be valid, identification must:

    • Have been issued by a government;
    • Be current (expired I.D. is not valid):
    • Include the person's photograph;
    • Include the person's birth date.

  • Currently, there are eight forms of prescribed I.D., which include: Ontario Driver's Licence, LCBO's Bring Your Identification (BYID) Card, Canadian Passport, Canadian Citizenship Card, Canadian Armed Forces Identification Card, Certificate of Indian Status Card, Permanent Resident Card and Ontario Photo Card.

Working with the Community

  • LCBO works both independently and in partnership with a variety of provincial and national organizations including MADD Canada, Parent Action on Drugs (PAD) and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) to help youth make informed, factual choices about beverage alcohol.

  • For more information about LCBO's responsible retailing initiatives, visit: http://www.lcbo.com/socialresponsibility/alcoholminors.shtml

SOURCE: LCBO

For further information:

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Heather MacGregor, LCBO Media Relations Co-ordinator      
Tel. 416 864-6772; Cell. 416 587-3729; 
E-mail: heather.macgregor@lcbo.com

Stephanie Petroff, LCBO Senior Communications Consultant 
Tel: 416 864-6792; 
E-mail: stephanie.petroff@lcbo.com


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