Homer Alaska - Letters

Story last updated at 6:48 PM on Wednesday, January 12, 2011

State alcohol laws clarified

Tanya Norvell's Point of View understanding regarding ID checking and liquor laws is incorrect. Alaska Statute (AS) 4.16 sets out Alcohol Regulation of Sales and Distribution and no where does it require a licensee to check a customer's identification.

It is not illegal to sell to someone with an expired drivers license or an alcohol restricted license, in fact AS 04.16.047(c) specifically states that "Nothing in this section ... creates a duty or imposes an obligation on a licensee to physically check the identification of any person entering licensed premises."

I have encountered several alcohol servers that were instructed by the same instructor that lives in Homer and they all had the same misunderstanding that the law required them to check everybody's identification. That is wrong but an employer may require it at their discretion. I have spoken to that instructor and he is current on the alcohol laws but somewhere along the line, some of the servers taking his class may not be understanding the law correctly.

It is definitely responsible to check the identification of anyone that may be under age 21, and I have no doubt that some good people have been charged with furnishing alcohol to a minor.

Also, Norvell could have entered a plea of no contest without a lawyer under Alaska Criminal Rule 11. I've seen it done many times.

Patrick Hames