Dear Mahatma: I went to a grocery store for a bottle of wine. At the checkout I was asked to show my driver’s license and allow them to scan it. I said they could look at it and even look at my face to compare it to see that I was who I was, over 70 and legal. But I said they couldn’t scan it; it was a violation of my privacy to put my driver’s license number in the store’s database. They didn’t want to budge, so I went to a liquor store and bought the same wine with a brief nod to my driver’s license. I had never been asked to have my DL scanned. Is it legal? Why would a grocery store have to scan a person’s ID? It makes me puzzled and verklempt. – Tyler
Dear Tyler: We too were baffled. Is it a driving question? We decided it did, as the answer would surely come from Alcoholic Beverage Control, an agency that is part of the Ministry of Finance and Administration, which has many responsibilities related to driving and owning vehicles. .
Doralee Chandler is the director of the Alcoholic Beverage Control / Arkansas Tobacco Control Administration. She gave us a multi-part answer.
First, state law prohibits the sale of alcoholic beverages to people under the age of 21.
Second, the liquor control agency does not require that a particular person be patented or that a specific process be used to ensure that sales to minors do not occur.
Third, many licensees have a mandatory licensing requirement for their employees, regardless of their age. This is an exclusive business decision.
Fourth, in addition to a mandatory patent requirement, many licensees have software in place to detect fraudulent IDs. This process requires the ID to be scanned. Use of this software is in accordance with company settings and corporate requirements, not the liquor store.
When it comes to verklempt, defined as being overwhelmed with emotion, for some people it is emotionally calming to patronize Mom & Pop’s liquor store rather than buying wine at The Humongous Grocery Chain which already follows every purchase.
Freedom of choice. Is it a big country, or what?
Dear Mahatma: I want to promote the IDriveArkansas app. Just returned from a round trip drive to Brentwood, Tennessee that required crossing the Interstate 55 bridge. The app provided us with traffic data and alternative routes. It reduced a lot of frustration. Your bully desk can tell more people about the app. – Jim
Dear Jim: We asked the Arkansas Department of Transportation how many people have downloaded the app.
ArDot does not know, but he does know that from January 1 to May 23, the site was visited 1,132,403 times. In February alone it was visited 698,054 times – the blizzard. In the other months, the number is around 100,000 visits.
It reminds us that tech support – grandchildren – installs the app on our own cell phone.
Vanity plate: GRANCAR.