Regulation of the Day 144: Underage Senior Citizens

Bob Russ is 66 years old. Last weekend, he and his wife went to the Oregon Brewer’s Festival in Portland. Or rather, they tried to. He was denied entry. The reason? He was unable to prove that he was over 21 years old. At 66, Mr. Russ is Medicare-eligible.

In a letter to the Oregonian, he writes that “At two entry gates, staff told us the OLCC [Oregon Liquor Control Commission] requires a current photo ID for large alcoholic events, period.”

In addition to an apology, Mr. Russ asks for “the use of common sense by the OLCC and the city of Portland that will prevent entering into festival permit agreements that deny entry to unsuspecting “underage” senior citizens.”

The goal of photo ID laws is to prevent underage drinking. Keeping 66-year old men out of festivals for lack of valid photo ID does not prevent underage drinking. If anything, it wastes resources that could otherwise be spent stopping underage drinking.

This is one regulation where the OLCC should allow for some discretion. Doing so might prevent a lot of bad PR.

(Hat tip to Jacob Grier)