Some stores never bothered asking the young man for identification before selling alcohol to him. But others that did, accepted his ID that showed he was a character from an animated American television show.
The teen was sent to 22 stores by the Nottingham City Council to see how easy it was for an underage person to purchase alcohol. Although the young man was actually 18 and able to buy booze legally, he was given identification with a date of birth that indicated he was 17 and therefore underage.
The New York Daily Mail reports, not surprisingly, seven establishments sold alcohol to him without asking for any identification. But six others that asked for, and saw his identification, sold liquor to him anyway.
The ID the teen possessed was that of Bobby Hill, a character from the American television show, King of the Hill, currently being shown on England's Channel 4. The identification card prominently displayed a cartoon picture of the Bobby Hill character.
Councillor Mike Murphy, who heads the community safety committee, is quoted in This is Nottingham as saying the council takes the sale of age-restricted products to underage children very seriously. He said, "It is disappointing that around a quarter of the shops did not properly check the identification they asked for before accepting it."
Murphy wants retailers of these products to adopt the "Challenge 25" policy that requires shops to ask for photo ID from anyone who appears to be under the age of 25. He is quoted in the Daily Mail as saying, "Although the volunteer was 18, we would strongly recommend that retailers always ask purchasers of goods such as alcohol and cigarettes for identification if they look under 25."
Nottingham City Council will issue warnings to those stores who sold alcohol to the volunteer. Council is promising to send children with false ID out again to attempt to purchase age-restricted products.