By Andy Young

Supermarket giant Coles has confirmed that its liquor stores in New South Wales will be running a trial of identification checks for anyone who looks under 40.

The off-premise industry currently runs by an ID 25 program, but Coles has decided to run this trial expanding the checked age bracket.

A spokesperson for Coles told TheShout: "Coles Liquor takes the responsible service of alcohol very seriously.

"To help our teams serve our customers responsibly, we are trialling an increased age limit for identification checks in NSW, under which our team will ask customers who they believe to be under the age of 40 for valid proof of age identification. Our aim is to strengthen our efforts to protect our community and our team members."

In New South Wales the current penalty for serving alcohol to anyone aged under 18 is a fine of up to $11,000 and/or 12 months imprisonment.

Terry Mott, the chief executive of the Australian Liquor Stores Association, told TheShout: "Our position is that we have ID 25 in place and that has been a well developed and well implemented campaign. It does however require that staff are trained and that staff understand the principle of why it's there and that they ask for ID; staff training is important to make it work. 

"Whether it's 20, 21, 25 or 50 years old it's important that the message is properly sold to staff and that staff are properly educated in the way that they do it.

"We think it is important that whatever is implemented by any individual retailer is able to be executed and that a responsible approach is taken to ensure staff are adequately trained to make sure it works.

"I think it is important that there is no confusion with the ID 25 scheme and that consumers understand ID 40 is a particular company's approach and not the overall industry approach."

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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  1. I absolutely love this.

    Could you please explain me this as no one seems to ever give me the answer on this one ,always someone finishes with smile rather than explain.

    Legal age is 18 for the person to purchase a alcohol, and under no circumstances alcohol should be sold to anyone under that age ,but you will have to show ID if you look under 25.

    And from now on will be even better as legal age of drinking is 18 but you will have to show ID when you look under 40.How can you get confused with 22 years of some ones age difference?

  2. You have got to be joking?!

    The pathetic self-imposed nannying of the drinks industry has just fallen to new lows. Every time you implement these weak and utterly ridiculous policies you make your opponents in the anti-everything camp look like sensible thinkers.

    Perhaps Coles should also introduce a ‘note from your mum’ policy for everybody who looks under 70… just in case they’re sneaking a cheeky beer past bedtime.

    What are you thinking, Coles?

  3. Hahaha!
    This has got to be the most hilarious thing I’ve ever read! Please, please tell me this is an advance copy of next year’s April fools joke from Coles.

  4. what a load of poppycock. So the law says if I am 18 years and one day old I can purchse alcohol but if I look 39 years and 364 days old and don’t have proof of age on me I am refused service. How does a uni student working part time, ironically 18 years of age, decipher wheather a customer’s 40th birthday was yesterday or tomorrow. More reason to shop with the independents where responsible sanity prevails.

  5. It’s a complete over reaction to the recent two week imposed closure of their liquorland store in bondi for selling to an underage customer with a fake ID. Coles Just needs to reinforce the current industry standard id 25 better with their staff not impose this ridiculous standard which their customers are confused by.

  6. This is a joke right?

    So you mean to tell me if I am 39 and 364 days you going to ask me for ID just in case I’m 17?

    What a stupid waste of time for everyone involved.

    I can understand ID25. That makes sense. Even that is probably at least on the higher side, but at least it’s a limit that is grounded in a bit of realistic numbers.

    But 40? What the hell?

  7. so is the person serving at Coles liquor land over the age of 40, if not I will refuse to show id. Your are going to loose a lot of customers because this is a very stupit idea, Im sure when you get to a certain age you know what your doing.

  8. This is great & I applaude it. I work in the industry & have done so for over 10 years. The difference between a 16yr old with facial hair & a clean shaven 25yr old these days is minisual, not to even mention some kids from particular ethnic decents (namely of asian, pacific islands & of indian decent for example) it is extremely difficult to “guess” a patrons’ age at times. This ID40 Standard practically eliminates that!
    I’m not sure where Australia got it’s self-proclaimed “entitlement to drink” from, but in various states of the USA, it doesn’t matter how old you are, greying or not.. no ID, no service! It’s time to wake up Australia & put yourself in the licencee’s shoes. They are only doing what they feel is right to ensure a safer community, which begs the mention that a licencee also has NO OBLIGATION what-so-ever to serve liquor to someone, so if they feel as there is a potential risk to the community, then they can refuse service for any reason. It’s that simple.
    It is also worth mentioning that it is not only the licencee who is at risk of being fined thousands of $$ &/or jail-time, but also those who make the purchase. So once again, before you comment slagging Coles for putting their Staff Members first, think about the risks & understand that with consuming liquor, comes responsibility & we as wholesalers have the responsibilty to uphold that responsiblity!
    Do you drive your vehicle without your drivers licence at the risk of being pulled over? Then why not have ID on you when you walk in to purchase alcohol at the risk of not being served? Simple really!
    Well done Coles! I may have to take a page out of your book & begin emposing this standard within my stores!

  9. How ridiculous!!!! And to add insult they even suggest that customers should take it as a compliment!!! What a complete insult to responsible adults to be treated like a criminal . Liquorland have certainly lost my business.

  10. Lost my business. Asked for ID even though I am 12 years older then the drinking age. Buying a single bottle of wine. I present my ID then leave the alchohol on the counter and shop elsewhere. What a waste of time. Won’t be shopping in liquorland or vintage cellars again.

  11. I just got asked to show my id. And I’m 37 years old. And the lady at the counter had totally confused the id25/30/40 policy with not seeking alcohol to any one less than 30! Next time I’m gonna send my grand parents to buy wine!

  12. I tried to buy a bottle of wine in liquorland today. I am 38 years old and have my drivers licence on me, so no issue, right? Wrong… my fiance is STANDING BESIDE ME. She too is 38 but had no ID. I was refused sale. Too far liquorland. Say I have my kids with me while I am shopping. Am I no longer able to buy beer unless I leave them outside the shop (dangerous). Come on liquorland, let’s take a step back and stop causing your customers (and staff) so much stress. Customer lost.

  13. My husband and I went to one of their stores. My husband was refused because he had no ID. When I went to buy the beer and I had ID, I was refused and the employee said that I couldn’t buy they beer but could buy the coke.So we walked out annoyed. I wont be going back there ever again. I know the law about buying alcohol for underaged.

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