Kansas is putting an unfair burden on sellers of beer

A Lawrence restaurant owner was fined $500 for serving beer to a 20-year-old with a fake ID last year and now wants to sue him for the $500.
It is beside the point that he hopes to have the case heard before television’s Judge Judy. (Or maybe he is hoping to get thousands worth of free publicity even if he loses the case.)
The man who scammed Doug Holiday at his Bigg’s BBQ last year during the NCAA tournament was Charles Miller. Miller was convicted of being a minor in possession of an alcoholic beverage and illegal use of a driver’s license. He paid $452 in fines. But the fines Miller paid didn’t help Holiday a penny’s worth.
He should get the $500.
Miller was asked for an ID and produced a driver’s license that wasn’t his — or was an altered copy of his. Miller got his beer.
Then, for reasons not explained in the news story, law enforcement stepped in, somehow demonstrated that the young man was a year younger than he said he was, and charged Bigg’s BBQ with the violation.
Well, wait a minute. The guilty guy here — the only guilty guy — is Miller. He deliberately violated the law. Holiday and his employees followed the law. They asked for proof of age and saw what they thought was the genuine article.
It is unreasonable to require bars and restaurants to investigate customers thoroughly enough to discover they are using false IDs before they serve them when the customers appear credible — as any 20-year-old pretending to be 21 would. In most instances, discovering fraud at that level would be impossible for a barkeep, waitress or cashier to accomplish.
So, sure, Miller should have to pay the restaurant’s fine and the courts which handle such cases should be instructed from on high to come down hard on kids who cheat rather than extorting heavy fines from businesses trying to stay legal.

— Emerson Lynn, jr.