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i'm 25 i swear!
March 5, 2011 3:08 PM   Subscribe

YANML: I'm 25 years and 30 days old. I'm at a bar crawl in Pittsburgh. I just got denied entry to a bar on Carson St because my Ohio license is expired by 30 days. What is the Pennsylvania law for a bar regarding alcohol service for a 25 year old with an expired ID? I.E. how can I avoid getting blocked for the rest of the evening? Things to consider: Grace period for expired license, possessing multiple credit cards in my name (to verify identity) and obviously over the age of 21 based on physical appearance.
posted by glaucon to Law & Government (22 answers total)
 
how can I avoid getting blocked for the rest of the evening?

Act confident and non-chalant when you walk in to other places - you may not get carded, and if you do, the expiration may not get noticed. If it gets noticed, plead. If that doesn't work, you could try passing the bouncer a $20. I doubt that citing Pennsylvania law (even if such law exists, and even if it is in your favor) is going to get you a lot of sympathy.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 3:13 PM on March 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think the bars are allowed to refuse to service to anyone. Even if your ID is legit, if they suspect otherwise, they aren't required to serve anyone. IANAL.

Your best bet is to be nice to the ID checker or to go get your passport if you have one.
posted by elpea at 3:13 PM on March 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Generally private businesses are allowed to refuse entry to anyone, so long as they are not discriminating against a protected class.

It's the bar's prerogative.
posted by mr_roboto at 3:14 PM on March 5, 2011


the bouncer at that bar wasn't unconvinced that you were 25. He was unconvinced that the bar wouldn't get into legal trouble letting you in.

First, you need to just relax and realise that this is just one night and you're not going to die if you don't get in.

Second, go home and get your passport.
posted by Kololo at 3:14 PM on March 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


I've never known a state that didn't more or less say bars have absolute say on who gets in, except for discriminatory (and that's almost impossible to prove unless they put up a sign saying "No [Whatevers]") reasons. You (or I, at nearly 40) could be denied entry for any other reason.
posted by Lyn Never at 3:14 PM on March 5, 2011


I've had an ID that was expired by two days; my replacement had been delayed in the mail. I was denied entry to a bar that I go to a few times a month, and had to run home and get my passport. They gave me a complimentary beer for my trouble, which was pretty swell.

This is in California, but as far as I know most bars will stick to the letter of the law rather than risk having their licenses revoked.
posted by truex at 3:15 PM on March 5, 2011


The relevant state law:
The valid photo driver's license or identification card issued by the Department of Transportation or by any other state, a valid armed forces of the United States identification card, a valid passport or a travel visa issued by the United States or a foreign country that contains the holder's photograph shall, for the purpose of this act, be accepted as an identification card.
No grace periods, no alternatives, and what everyone else said about the venue's discretion. Welcome to Bluelawvania.
posted by holgate at 3:17 PM on March 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


(The purpose of that clause is to spell out which forms of ID protect the licensee from a citation for selling alcohol to a minor.)
posted by holgate at 3:21 PM on March 5, 2011


do you have a passport?
posted by thinkingwoman at 3:24 PM on March 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I do have a passport, but it'd be an hour plus bus ride roundtrip. So, if I can't drink at a few bars, the night will still be a good night.

Plus, I've a flask of 12-year Jameson so I can always resort to that in case of a pre-st. Patty's day emergency.

Thanks, everyone. You rule.
posted by glaucon at 3:40 PM on March 5, 2011


Your expired license is not a valid form of ID. Most places aren't going to let you in or serve you alcohol without a valid form of ID. Businesses and individuals can get into a lot of trouble with the law and it's just not worth it no matter how much someone begs and pleads. Essentially what you are doing is asking people to put their livelihoods on the line because you want to get drunk. Your ability to have some drinks does not trump someone's ability to pay their bills and feed their families. Have some respect for workers in the industry and bring your passport or renew your Ohio state ID.

obviously over the age of 21 based on physical appearance.

Are you serious? We don't have some magic ability to know for sure whether or not someone is over the age of 21 by a few years because you think you possess certain physical characteristics of someone over the age of 21. Guess what, some people below the age of 21 look like they're 25, sometimes older. How are we supposed to know?
posted by MaryDellamorte at 4:02 PM on March 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


If it make you feel better I'm almost twice your age and I get carded in Pittsburgh occasionally. Some places just card everyone.
posted by octothorpe at 4:04 PM on March 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Mary, I'm not asking anybody to put their livelihoods at risk so I can get drunk. I was just wondering if there was a 30 day grace period or another way to get served.

As I said above, if I can't drink at a few bars, I'm with friends and it will still be a good night.

I appreciate your confirmation that I do not have a valid form of ID.
posted by glaucon at 4:08 PM on March 5, 2011


If it make you feel better I'm almost twice your age and I get carded in Pittsburgh occasionally. Some places just card everyone.

The law in most, if not all, states is that in order to drink you have to have a valid photo ID on your person, not matter how old you are. You can be 200 years old in a wheelchair and could still be refused a drink if you do not have your ID on your person. Some places card everyone and some places just cover their asses enough to not get caught serving someone underage. The people who enforce the law are more concerned with underage drinking than they are about grandma drinking without an ID.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 4:09 PM on March 5, 2011


Down here in Virginia, the rule of thumb is that if you look 30 or under, they'll card you. That said, the most recent time they carded me was last year...... and I'm 55......

As others have said above, it's at the bar's discretion, and any reasonable place would rather not risk their liquor license.
posted by easily confused at 4:17 PM on March 5, 2011


Eventually, getting carded will make your day, if you live long enough. Cheers.
posted by randomkeystrike at 4:25 PM on March 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


If you guys are open to bar crawling elsewhere, I'd get out of the South Side. They'll card at the door every time.

If I didn't have my ID on me, and I wanted to bar crawl, I'd head to Regent Square. It's tame, yeah, but they don't card.

Otherwise: Kelly's, the Cage, and Cappy's don't habitually card.
posted by punchtothehead at 4:25 PM on March 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yeah, if you want to stay on the South Side bar crawl you will have to take your chances. A lot of place card at the door versus at the bar. You could try some others, but on a Saturday even the smaller places will have a bouncer set up. I agree with the above poster about trying different areas of Pittsburgh; Bloomfield has a lot of bars that don't usually card at the door (Armand's, Nico's, maybe Howler's).
posted by amicamentis at 4:39 PM on March 5, 2011


The law in most, if not all, states is that in order to drink you have to have a valid photo ID on your person, not matter how old you are.

It's against the law to serve minors, not people with IDs that are a few weeks past expiration. The bars wouldn't get in to any trouble serving an ID-less 200 year-old (or 21 year-old for that matter) at least not in the states that I've lived in/heard of. Company policy might say otherwise and require one as evidence that you're of age, but no government in the US that I'm aware of requires you to have an ID to drink.

An expired ID is still pretty solid evidence that you're over 21, barring something suspicious about the ID. They may be concerned that you're not the guy on the card, which you may be able to address with some additional stuff with your name on it, credit card, library card, etc. Some of them are just going to look for the birthday and miss the expiration date, right?
posted by the christopher hundreds at 7:30 PM on March 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


(BTW, the issue isn't that you legally have to have your valid, unexpired ID card to order a drink, it's that the person who serves you is indemnified from liability for serving underage if you show your valid, unexpired ID card, which is why they will usually require you to show it). The statute cited by holgate mentions that there is a particular form (basically just a sworn statement that you are over 21) you can print and sign and give to the liquor seller in lieu of an ID in order to indemnify them, but I bet that if you actually tried that the bouncer would just think you were insane.
posted by phoenixy at 7:51 PM on March 5, 2011


Keep in mind that there's also people who have designations on their IDs saying they aren't allowed to drink (sorry, don't know exactly what it's called but a few years ago I went through training to be able to serve alcohol). It's not just about making sure you aren't a minor.
posted by autoclavicle at 9:05 PM on March 5, 2011


phoenixy: Some bars actually keep those things on hand. I've filled a few of them out in PA when I've forgotten my ID or it was expired.
posted by Loto at 9:03 AM on March 6, 2011


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