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ID Tech May Mean an End to Anonymous Drinking 514

Posted by timothy
from the say-were-you-going-to-finish-that-martini dept.
Anonymous Howard writes "If you visit a lot of bars and restaurants, you've likely crossed paths with driver's license scanners — machines that supposedly verify that your license is valid. In actuality, many of these scanners are designed to record your license information in addition to verifying them, and those that authenticate against a remote database are creating a record of when and where you buy alcohol. Not only that, but they're not even particularly effective — the bar code on your license uses an open, documented standard and can be rewritten to change your age or picture. Collecting our driver's license information is one thing, but collecting data about our personal drinking habits is not only a violation of, according to the ACLU representative quoted in the article, privacy and civil liberties, but this 'drinking record' could also create problems for people in civil and criminal lawsuits as proof of alcohol purchases in DUI cases or evidence of alcoholism in divorce lawsuits."
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ID Tech May Mean an End to Anonymous Drinking

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 10, 2008 @05:34PM (#21990688)
    Due to mounting pressure, purchases of all Frosty Piss, including steaming mug varieties, are now subject to mandatory ID recording. Our apologies for the inconvenience and we hope you enjoy your beverage.
     
    • by pilgrim23 (716938) on Thursday January 10, 2008 @05:37PM (#21990746)
      Let me be the firth to shay that I welcome our (Hic!).... waitaminute...what was I shaying?
  • by plopez (54068) on Thursday January 10, 2008 @05:39PM (#21990770) Journal
    With this information employers could decide not to hire you if they felt you drank too much, in their opinion, or at all. Companies owned by fundamentalist christians, mormans or even muslims may decide to do this.

    Additionally, insurance companies could drop you if they found out, for exaple, you were out drinking 3 nights a week.

    If this info gets out it could have a huge impact on people.

    • by Pojut (1027544) on Thursday January 10, 2008 @05:46PM (#21990884) Homepage

      Companies owned by fundamentalist christians, mormans or even muslims may decide to do this.


      Which is silly, considering alcoholic drinks were first conceived by holy men...
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by ivan256 (17499)
        Not only do you not have a reference to back that up, but it's also highly improbable.

        I'm sure that humans would have discovered accidentally that sweet liquids contaminated with yeast produced alcoholic liquids far sooner than we had an understanding of what "alcohol" actually was. Well before we had language, much less than organized religion.

        However I'm willing to admit that I'm speculating, as my post has a little in terms of references as yours...
        • by Pojut (1027544) on Thursday January 10, 2008 @06:11PM (#21991412) Homepage
          I should have been more specific, I meant wine.

          From Wikipedia:

          The discovery of late Stone Age beer jugs has established the fact that intentionally fermented beverages existed at least as early as the Neolithic period (cir. 10,000 BC), and it has been suggested that beer may have preceded bread as a staple; wine clearly appeared as a finished product in Egyptian pictographs around 4,000 BC[1]

          Brewing dates from the beginning of civilization in ancient Egypt and alcoholic beverages were very important in that country. Symbolic of this is the fact that while many gods were local or familial, Osiris, was worshiped throughout the entire country. The Egyptians believed that this important god invented beer, a beverage that was considered a necessity of life; it was brewed in the home "on an everyday basis."[1]

          Both beer and wine were deified and offered to gods. Cellars and winepresses even had a god whose hieroglyph was a winepress. The ancient Egyptians made at least seventeen varieties of beer and at least 24 varieties of wine. Alcoholic beverages were used for pleasure, nutrition, medicine, ritual, remuneration and funerary purposes. The latter involved storing the beverages in tombs of the deceased for their use in the after-life.[1]


          Main Article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_alcohol#Ancient_period [wikipedia.org]

          And yes, the article cites its sources.
        • by Torvaun (1040898)
          I'm reasonably certain that beer was invented in ancient Egypt, which did have organized religion, but it's unclear whether or not they were the driving force behind it. While fermented fruits may have gotten some people tipsy before that, I think that ancient beer was the first stuff to be knowingly manufactured.
    • As far as I know drunks and underage drinkers are not a protected class. Several companies will not hire you if you are a smoker, and it's legal for them to do so.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Zonk (troll) (1026140)

        As far as I know drunks and underage drinkers are not a protected class. Several companies will not hire you if you are a smoker, and it's legal for them to do so.

        It's legal, yes, but it shouldn't be. I completely support a company's right to ban smoking on their premises, but it's unacceptable for them to dictate what you do in your own time when not at work.

        Just read this article [orlandosentinel.com] from the paper a few weeks ago:

        Maltby's bigger concern is the total smoking ban, which he views as a fundamental civil-rights issue, since it extends beyond the workplace into an individual's home. He notes that 29 states and the District of Columbia have so-called lifestyle-rights laws that protect employees' rights to smoke when they're not at work.

        But not Florida. "When I found out it was legal to discriminate against smokers [in 2002], those were my marching orders," said Westgate's chief executive, David Siegel, who gave his tobacco-using employees a year's notice before the total ban went into effect.

        [...]

        Siegel, who says his brief flirtation with cigarettes ended in 1959, is so strongly opposed to the habit that he would like to see smoking banned completely. Short of that, he hopes his company's smoking ban -- effective in Florida and every other Westgate location where it's allowed by state law -- becomes a model for other employers.

    • by masdog (794316)
      That depends on how the system is used to start with. Everywhere I've seen one of these types of machines used, it has been at the bar door to verify that your ID is legit. So if someone wanted to check, they would see that I make the bar rounds three nights a week, but anyone looking at just the information in that database wouldn't be able to tell if I had three waters, three sodas, or three beers.

      You couldn't even tell if you cross-referenced with credit card information. One mixed drink might cost

      • So, my regular $192 Tuesday night tab has five cokes, thirty-seven beers, four martinis, a dozen shots of tequila and a small pizza...just so happens the networking meeting falls on that night and I happen to like coke with my pizza.

      • You couldn't even tell if you cross-referenced with credit card information. One mixed drink might cost the same as two beers or four sodas, so anyone looking to use that info wouldn't be able to prove that the individual who went to the bar actually drank.

        They wouldn't know if they cross-referenced it with the information in the credit card company's database. But there's the information at the other end -- at the bar -- that they could easily get, if they have access to the information in the card scanner already.

        Most upscale bars use electronic register systems for tracking tabs and ringing up bills; these show all the items that you've ordered, and then if you pay by credit card they have that as well. So it would just be a matter of going into the bar's computer and finding the bill associated with a certain credit card number (here's hoping they're only storing the last four digits...) and you've got that person's order for the evening.

        Also, I'm not sure it's a safe assumption that the credit card company only gets the bottom-line data. On my American Express statements, there's sometimes fairly granular data available. In some cases food, drinks/bar, and tips are broken out separately. So obviously the restaurant's system is passing that data up to Amex when it runs the transaction. I haven't seen this on anything except Amex, but it proves the capability exists and is being utilized. (They also print the ticket or confirmation number of rail and plane tickets that you buy with your card, right on your statement, and sometimes the order number of some online stores as well.)
    • by MBCook (132727)

      So? What's wrong with that? Why shouldn't a company be able to decide such a thing? Should "Bob's Morman Supply" not be able to say something like that? Would about "Bob's Office Supply"?

      It may be illegal now (the ACLU would certainly argue for that), but I don't see why a company shouldn't be able to do that.

      This is all fine with me. I can understand why many people wouldn't want this, and I wouldn't push it. But if we keep records to make it easier to convict drunk drivers or people who aren't supposed

      • by causality (777677) on Thursday January 10, 2008 @06:33PM (#21991740)

        So? What's wrong with that? Why shouldn't a company be able to decide such a thing? Should "Bob's Morman Supply" not be able to say something like that? Would about "Bob's Office Supply"?

        It may be illegal now (the ACLU would certainly argue for that), but I don't see why a company shouldn't be able to do that.
        Allowing corporations to control your lifestyle while away from work is very dangerous. Regarding alcohol, the only legitimate concern of a company I work for is that I am sober when I show up for work and remain sober while I am on the clock. This is the time that they pay for, and they have a right (within limits of course) to determine what I do or don't do during that time. What I do in my private, off-time that they are not paying for is absolutely none of their business. Trying to monitor what I do during my private time away from work is nothing but an invasion of privacy that should never be tolerated for any reason. I honestly can't understand why there is even a discussion about this; it's patently obvious.

        This is all fine with me. I can understand why many people wouldn't want this, and I wouldn't push it. But if we keep records to make it easier to convict drunk drivers or people who aren't supposed to be drinking (like perhaps because of some prior conviction where that was made a condition of probation). Those are both fine for me.

        Law enforcement is not supposed to be easy. One description I have heard of fascism is when the desire for efficiency of law enforcement outweighs any concern about civil rights. Judges (or whomever) may set a nearly-unenforcable condition for a probation if they choose to do so -- that is not my problem. It certainly does not give them or anyone else the right to invade my privacy for the sake of making their job easier.

        Also, this will do nothing or next to nothing to stop drunk drivers. So this database can confirm that someone was at a bar and had an alcoholic beverage. It will not confirm whether they drove to the bar, walked to the bar, took a cab, or had a designated driver. So if a crime is committed, this will tell you even less than what could be learned by old-fashioned policework, i.e. interviewing witnesses.

        I wish there were just one politician with the balls to be honest and say "yeah, I could say that this is for your safety or to help make the world a better place, but really we just want to invade your privacy so that we can have a society increasingly under central control." They are too cowardly to be so honest and it's fitting that they are elected by people too cowardly to value freedom more than security.
    • by cayenne8 (626475)
      "With this information employers could decide not to hire you if they felt you drank too much, in their opinion, or at all. Companies owned by fundamentalist christians, mormans or even muslims may decide to do this.

      Additionally, insurance companies could drop you if they found out, for exaple, you were out drinking 3 nights a week.

      If this info gets out it could have a huge impact on people."

      I've been worried for years that they can do the same...even MORE damage with the grocery store courtesy cards.

    • by UbuntuDupe (970646) * on Thursday January 10, 2008 @06:09PM (#21991360) Journal
      Additionally, insurance companies could drop you if they found out, for exaple, you were out drinking 3 nights a week.

      Yeah, man, I hate when they accurately judge my risk of an accident and prevent me from leeching off of safe drivers.[1]

      [1] Assuming frequent drinkers really are more dangerous as per actuarial tables, which may or may not be true.
      • by eli pabst (948845) on Thursday January 10, 2008 @09:10PM (#21993714)

        Yeah, man, I hate when they accurately judge my risk of an accident and prevent me from leeching off of safe drivers.
        I have a professor who buys a crap load of beer for an informal journal club group, but doesn't drink any himself. Should his premiums go up simply because of some number in a database that makes him look like a heavy drinker? How about we base premiums on a more accurate predictor like the number of drunk driving accidents he's actually been in, rather than extrapolating based on an assumption of an assumption.
  • by hardburn (141468) <hardburn@wumpus- ... OWnet minus city> on Thursday January 10, 2008 @05:40PM (#21990782)

    I'm of legal drinking age already and I haven't yet seen one of these machines in my area. But if I ever do, I'd like to have a false bar graph taped on the back of my license. Who will be the first to make a web site to generate these at will? And how long until that web site is labeled a terrorist act?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Rorschach1 (174480)
      In California they use magstripe readers. Not that they can't be faked, but they take a little more equipment, and you can't really just paste one over the real stripe.
      • by hardburn (141468)

        We get graphs here in Wisconsin (used to be magnetic strips). Incedently, an official change-of-address sticker covers the entire back of my license, so you couldn't read the graph, anyway.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by internic (453511)

        In California they use magstripe readers.

        What happens if it gets demagnetized?

      • by nxtw (866177)
        But you can erase the magnetic stripe rather easily. And it's plausible for it to get erased accidentally. Are they going to manually copy your information down / scan the card / refuse service because someone's card won't scan?
    • by Otter (3800) on Thursday January 10, 2008 @05:53PM (#21991026) Journal
      But if I ever do, I'd like to have a false bar graph taped on the back of my license. Who will be the first to make a web site to generate these at will? And how long until that web site is labeled a terrorist act?

      I don't follow your logic: not only do you not get your Manhattan, you get your ass tossed in jail for as long as it takes them to figure out that you really do have a valid ID. And they're liable to charge you for tampering anyway.

      Yeah, that's really sticking it to Dick Cheney! Fight The Power!

    • by garcia (6573) on Thursday January 10, 2008 @06:09PM (#21991366) Homepage
      No, what needs to happen is a little education of the public and then vote with your feet. I still will not enter a store because they use ID scanners. I have absolutely no problem driving out of my way to an Apple Valley liquor store to buy beer because they don't scan. I still tell them, every time, that I'm there because they protect my privacy.

      Lakeville Liquors just built a new facility less than a half mile from my house. I walk by it daily and am proud that it joins the ranks of Starbucks as an establishment that I will never step foot in.

      In addition, I have used a high powered earth magnet on my ID's magnetic stripe rendering it useless in any scanner including the cops (who asked me to get a new ID because it was "worn out"), the smoke shop (for cigars), or anywhere else that feels the need to scan ID.

      If enough people realized what those machines did (I make sure to tell everyone around me when I see one being used before walking out) then businesses would stop using them because less people would enter the store. Sadly I'm dreaming about that because no one cares.
  • That's why (Score:5, Funny)

    by dreamchaser (49529) on Thursday January 10, 2008 @05:41PM (#21990792) Homepage Journal
    That's why I just keep a still running and do all of my drinking alone in the dark. I even use a tin cup to match my hat.
  • Easy workaround (Score:4, Informative)

    by wiggles (30088) on Thursday January 10, 2008 @05:43PM (#21990814)
    This is easy to work around -- just mark the bar code with a sharpie. The machine won't be able to read it, and they'll be forced to check your ID the old fashioned way.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by SoundGuyNoise (864550)
      Better to sand it or bleach it off. Less likely to be considered "tampering" with it, if it seems more like the bar code "wore off."
  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Thursday January 10, 2008 @05:44PM (#21990858)
    My fraternity brothers are all married and I STILL NEED DRINKING BUDDIES!!!
  • And some businesses use this information to add to their marketing mailing lists. I know people who start getting snail mail spam from bars after their drivers license is scanned.
  • DUI? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by moosesocks (264553) on Thursday January 10, 2008 @05:46PM (#21990894) Homepage
    Wouldn't the driver's BAC be the "smoking gun" in most DUI cases?

    The evidence of an alcohol purchase isn't going to be remotely sufficient to convict without a BAC test, and the presence of a BAC test alone should be more than sufficient to produce a conviction. I honestly don't see where the purhcahse record could hypothetically fit into the equation.

    If there's an argument for or against ID scanning, this isn't it. Even from the cops' perspective, this isn't even going to help them 'nab the bad guys' any more than they're already equipped to do.

    Papers, please?
    • Re:DUI? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by carpe_noctem (457178) on Thursday January 10, 2008 @06:53PM (#21992024) Homepage Journal
      I'm an American expat living in Germany. One of the things that has been interesting to me here is the difference of how prohibited goods like alcohol and cigarettes are treated in terms of minors.

      I must say, I always get screwed when I come back to America to visit and try to go to a bar or buy beer, because I have completely gotten used to not having to bring an ID with me, even though I am clearly over 18/21. The annoyance of this, and the fact that the establishments are only enforcing the rules out of fear that I'm an undercover cop, add to the ridiculousness of the rules.

      In Germany, you only have to be 16 to buy alcohol. There is talk of raising this (and the cigarette age) up to 18, but frankly, it won't make much of a difference given the easy access to either substance. The really [i]nice[/i] thing about this is that you are therefore of drinking age before you are able to drive. Thus, by the time that kids learn how to drive, they've already learned how to hold their liquor, and are less likely to make a stupid mistake like getting behind the wheel.

      I used to live in Indiana for five years, where the drinking age is of course 21. The number of drunk driving accidents I witnessed or heard about via people that caused them was substantially higher than in a place where alcohol is proudly sold every day and hour of the week (if you know where to get it), at gas stations (heh), movie theaters (which really rocks btw), and supermarkets (and none of that 3.2% crap, either). There is an obvious conclusion to all of this -- people like to drink, and they're going to do it anyways, includng kids. It's better to create an atmosphere where people learn how to handle this responsibility, and are encouraged to enjoy it without risking the lives of others.
  • by p5linux (764567) on Thursday January 10, 2008 @05:46PM (#21990896)
    Don't go to those 'high tech' places. Go to the real gin joint down the street. Besides once you are a regular at a place they don't card you. I went to a place that rhymes with Drasy Conky on rte 110 in amityville, NY that had one of those machines. Next thing I know I'm getting all these advertisments for night clubs and bars sent to my home. Then my wife starts asking me all these questions about where I'm going. not cool.
  • Driver's license checks aren't mandatory in the state I live in (Kansas) ... it's been 10 years or so since I've been asked to show my driver's license, with the only exception being to board a commercial airline flight.

    So apparently these machines aren't being effectively used yet for any kind of tracking purpose, as they'd only be capturing data for people under the "apparent age" of about 25.
  • Real alcoholics shouldn't worry about this. If you become a regular at a bar, the bouncers will not ID you every time, because they know you are over 21.

    Alternatively, you could powder your hair, but that makes it harder to pick up chicks.
  • 1) Why is it assumed that entering a bar automatically implies that you were drinking?

    2) I find it really dubious that employers would ever get access to this sort of information and I think that it is unlikely that they would be allowed to use it without being sued.

    While the potential exists for all sorts of "big brother" type applications, I find most of these scenarios to be somewhat far-fetched.
  • When they started scanning your drivers licence when you drank. A little bit of vigilance could've seen this coming a mile away. Any time an institution has a new way to access personal data they will abuse it.

    This is probably going to be coming over to the UK soon as well. They have become more tight on ID for clubs and bars to the point where only a specifically manufactured ID card, a drivers licence or a passport will do. Standardising ID is a precursor to this step.

  • by KublaiKhan (522918) on Thursday January 10, 2008 @05:50PM (#21990952) Homepage Journal
    What's the point anymore? What with insane DUI penalties and rabid 'enforcement' bordering on entrapment, not to mention the publicity campaigns (posters all over town here saying, in big letters, "TWO DRINKS could MAKE YOU A FELON"), I've no desire to go to a bar. If I want to drink, I'll buy my liquor at a grocery store with a couple of $20s from my weekly 'petty cash' and I'll invite a couple friends over, or just drink alone. Sure, there's no playing pool or being hit on by drunk chicks, but there's also no loud, smelly football players drinking piss beer--that, and the prices are a lot better when I mix my own drinks.
  • by carpe_noctem (457178) on Thursday January 10, 2008 @05:50PM (#21990954) Homepage Journal
    ...but it won't stop me from taking 20$ from the kids standing behind the liquor store to buy them a case of PBR.

    God bless their little, slightly drunk, souls.
  • by xC0000005 (715810) on Thursday January 10, 2008 @05:50PM (#21990958) Homepage
    Officer:"License and registration, please."
    BEEP
    "I see you had three martinis, two shots and bought a bloody mary for the dishwater blonde who dumped you to go to the park with the accountant."
    You: "It tells you all that on my license?"
    Officer: "No, I gave them a ticket for having sex in public while being ugly a few minutes ago. Now, step out of the car and put your hands behind your back."
  • Likely? I do my fair share of drinking, and have never encountered an ID scanner outside of a convenience store, and I believe that they only read the magstrip and not the bar code. Unless these things are legally mandated, I can't imagine why a bar or restaurant would use one of these devices.
  • That is the end goal, where you cant do *anything* without it being tracked in some government database.

    Even if what you are doing today is legal, it may not be tomorrow, and they will want records of it to hold against you. At the very least it shows prior intent.
  • by EllisDees (268037) on Thursday January 10, 2008 @05:51PM (#21990988)
    Err, no, in Ohio actually. Around here there are a few bars that have taken to scanning the magnetic strip in our drivers license. Lucky for me, I have a few of those super strong neodymium magnets and have completely negated said magnetic strip.

    They usually give up after about 15 swipes.
  • by davidsyes (765062) on Thursday January 10, 2008 @05:52PM (#21991016) Homepage Journal
    On the radio the discussion was about east coast bars swiping information, lying to the patrons and telling them it was for security reasons, to prevent re-entry of banned or troublesome former-patrons.

    (Me here forward:)

    The thing was, they were promptly selling this information to other parties who reprocessed it as thank you offers, happy birthday offers, coupons, ads etc with extreme precision because these companies had ALL the necessary information to reduce the cost of marketing these people. It also gave these marketers a way of upping the price/cost of information these marketers wanted.

    Later, when I moved to Oregon for a year, I saw the cashier at a convenience store actually SWIPING the card of someone buying alcohol and I think cigarettes (it's been a while, so it could be the reverse or the checking of purchase of both...).

    That turned me off. I don't recall buying alcohol myself at that mart. What I think is stupid is swiping the ID of someone who obviously is well above 25 or 30, and doesn't appear to be wearing spy or makeup-artist appliances.

    I guess then that people with passports (I don't know if stores will try to scan these and if they can't then decline/refuse the sale) can present them instead of their driver's license.

    Somebody needs to come up with a two-or-three-part license/age-verification/right-to-vote device/card so that for clubbing and purchases not involving checks or credit, only NAME AND AGE/DOB appear.

    Then, for big-ticket items, the second part (matching) has to be presented to provide ADDRESS (Current and maybe 5 previous or 5-10 years of previous addresses based on reconciled IRS & quarterly payroll records for working/retired adults).

    The THIRD part would be for retirement/pre-retirement benefits/public assistance receipt and cash-out of stocks/purchase of property and so on, that don't need to be passed on to anyone except government/law enforcement.

    Maybe I've blurred some areas, but I'm ALL FOR saying "SCREW YOU" to clubs, bars, and any place scraping information they have NO business obtaining, possessing or reselling. If they want to ban patrons, then use imagery/facial recognition equipment at the point of ejection or to replay tapes of a confused situation/melee.

    Anyone reading headlines about bar bouncers participating in assaulting or stalking of patrons can easily see how this 2-3-part identification deprives nosy bar or shop employees from gleaning residency information on cash-only patrons. It could possibly even work for police identification situations when the police stop is a graduated information determination: First: verify the detainee is NOT who your on the lookout for. If name is STILL too close a match, ask the detainee to produce part two.

    Same could work for other scenarios. Use your imagination.
    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by ivan256 (17499)

      That turned me off. I don't recall buying alcohol myself at that mart. What I think is stupid is swiping the ID of someone who obviously is well above 25 or 30, and doesn't appear to be wearing spy or makeup-artist appliances.

      You wouldn't think it was stupid if you were the owner of the convenience store....

      That store now has a nice record saying they carefully verified the age of ever customer purchasing alcohol or tobacco. So when some 13 year old gets caught smoking and some "I'm a perfect parent" moth

  • When are we going to decide that government is on a need-to-know basis, and when it comes to shit like this, they don't need to know?

    It's a shame that most people are so docile and sheeplike that they will shrug their shoulders and say "well I got nothing to hide." Of course, that's not a complete thought. The complete thought is "well I got nothing to hide, so something as prone to abuse as unnecessary surveillance of a legal activity is OK by me!"
  • by MikeRT (947531) on Thursday January 10, 2008 @06:04PM (#21991262) Homepage
    Groups like MADD are the modern day puritans. They're not content with just protecting basic public order, but rectifying perceived personality flaws by using the state to remake society. MADD and those like them have never met a restriction on drinkers' rights they didn't find too onerous, short of the way that Sharia tends to punish drinkers.

    I hate being reminded of the damage that alcoholics do as part of some stupid scheme to further erode basic rights. I grew up with an alcoholic father. Don't fucking remind me. There are only times I've nearly punched a girl in the face was when I had a proto-MADD member who didn't grow up in such a household piously get in my face saying that I didn't know what I was talking about WRT alcoholism and family life.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jdjbuffalo (318589)
      MADD has most certainly gotten out of hand. Their founder, Candy Leightner, has stated as much on numerous occasions. The group has been cooped by prohibitionists.

      I really wish we could find a way to disband them or at least minimize their pull with State and Federal governments. They makeup stats by including calling it a drunk driving accident if a designated sober driver is driving his/her drunk friends home. Same goes for if you hit a drunk pedestrian. And if you look at the real stats they state t
  • by chiph (523845) on Thursday January 10, 2008 @06:04PM (#21991280)
    Yes yes, very few of you are lawyers, but I'm wondering what the legality of removing/obscuring the barcode so that it no longer scans.

    The info is still there on the front of the license so a human can still read it (I swear I wasn't speeding, officer!). But you wouldn't end up as easily in the junk-mail databases.

    Chip H.
  • by imuffin (196159) on Thursday January 10, 2008 @06:05PM (#21991304)
    After a liquor store scanned my license without even asking my permission, I got ahold of a magstripe writer and deleted the data on my license's magstripe and wrote over it with my credit card. Now when I go out I can use the same card to get past the bouncer and pay the tab. Sometimes they look at me funny when I present my license for payment, but when they run the card the transaction is always approved.
  • Just re-write the data on the card to say something more interesting. Everything is stored plaintext. Just leave the birthdate intact and you'll be good.

    And when i say rewrite the date...of course I mean "create another novelty ID to be used for testing purposes only" ;-).
  • ...but this 'drinking record' could also create problems for people in civil and criminal lawsuits as proof of alcohol purchases in DUI cases or evidence of alcoholism in divorce lawsuits." I live in a certain town in Texas which is in a dry County. Any of the restaurants (Chilli's, Applebees etc... ) want to swipe your license when you order alcohol to ensure you are a 'member' of the private club (the way they get around the dry county bit.). It was made pretty clear to me by the locals when i arrived (

    • by russ1337 (938915)
      *slaps forhead*

      Preview, Preview, Preview.

      should read:

      I live in a certain town in Texas which is in a dry County. Any of the restaurants (Chilli's, Applebees etc... ) want to swipe your license when you order alcohol to ensure you are a 'member' of the private club (the way they get around the dry county bit.). It was made pretty clear to me by the locals when i arrived (in 2004) that if you get DUI the cops will use your purchases logged against your license in the DUI charge.

      Do I have a prob
  • You need to remember that a private establishment can refuse service to you for whatever reason they want. Also, the level of apathy in this country has risen to the point where no one except the few of us on slashdot cares about privacy.

    The worrisome thing is not so much that this guy's driver license was scanned using a digital scanner, but that the data is shuffled off to a database somewhere to be mined. Imagine your insurance rates going up because the insurance company did not like what you had to dri
  • I always get a little nervous about the combination of driving licenses and drinking. If they go through all the trouble of registering those licenses at the bars, please let them check whether the drinkers use it afterwards or not.
  • by Ekhymosis (949557) on Thursday January 10, 2008 @06:11PM (#21991410) Homepage
    Not only do you make the best engines, you help people stop drinking. Is there anything you can't do?

    Oh, wait you meant identification tech. Stupid title got me confused...

  • It seems very very odd that in order to be able to drink somewhere you're going to get asked to prove that you'd be a danger travelling home if you were to do so?

    I'm from the UK and have never had problems getting served with alcohol in the US without any photo ID (assuming I'm not carrying a passport around, which half the time I wouldn't be). I'm very obviously of legal drinking age, which helps. Sometimes you get some comic who asks to see a driving licence, but showing that there's no photograph on it
  • by bherman (531936) on Thursday January 10, 2008 @06:16PM (#21991504) Homepage
    We have two barcodes on our IDs. One 1D which only has the ID number the 2D has unencrypted driver's license or identification card number, the date of birth, the expiration date, and cardholder name as well as encrypted part which has address and other items. The law has made it illegal to decrypt the barcode except for law enforcement.
    Ergo, if a bar starts sending you crap after you've visited you can assume they decrypted the info. However they could still track you for the "DUI" and "Divorce" with the ID number alone, but I guess more people are worried about the spam aspect.
  • by WillAffleckUW (858324) on Thursday January 10, 2008 @06:46PM (#21991932) Homepage Journal
    By law, retaining and using this information is a felony.

    So, while some national chains may think this is a great idea, they'd better start getting themselves fitted for orange jumpsuits, IMHO.
  • Abolish Liquor Laws (Score:3, Interesting)

    by h4ck7h3p14n37 (926070) on Thursday January 10, 2008 @08:10PM (#21993072) Homepage

    Could someone please explain why restricting the sale of alcohol to those under 21 is worth all of the costs/consequences that follow.

    • Citizens are forced to obtain identification cards in order to buy alcohol
    • Vendors must check each patron's Id or risk a fine/lose their liquor license
    • Vendors must apply for liquor licenses
    • Citizens must pay taxes to support the infrastructure needed to manage the permit process
    • Citizens must pay taxes to support the additional burden on law enforcement for enforcing the liquor laws
    • Younger people develop unhealthy views towards alcohol

    Why can't we simply allow anyone who wants alcohol to buy it? Vendors can choose not to sell to certain people (ie. young children) and the public can choose whether or not to frequent businesses that sell alcohol. If a store is selling booze to eight year olds, then the public can simply boycott the business.

    Sure some people become addicted to alcohol, but why should I be punished for their problems? Sure kids might obtain liquor, but surely parents are capable of addressing such a situation. Sure some people choose to drive drunk and get in a car accident that maybe kills someone, so arrest them for doing so.

    By creating a system of laws around the consumption of liquor, we've simply given those in positions of authority new tools to oppress the masses. Liquor stores can be harassed by police sending in underage people. Motorists can be harassed with things like drunk-driving checkpoints. Businesses can be harassed by politicians on liquor control boards who demand bribes, kick-backs or "favors" in exchange for approving an application for a liquor license. Patrons can be harassed by establishments that resell the information on their identity cards.

    I say eliminate the whole damn system. I find it doubtful that keeping it in place is less costly than doing away with it entirely.

  • by J'raxis (248192) on Thursday January 10, 2008 @10:22PM (#21994250) Homepage

    Fortunately, they appear to be illegal in my state already: RSA 263:12, X [state.nh.us], 260:14 [state.nh.us].

Successful and fortunate crime is called virtue. - Seneca

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