Walmart refuses to sell alcohol to Iowa dad shopping with teen daughter


Walmart is apologizing after it refused to sell alcohol to a man who was shopping with his teenage daughter.

According to The Des Moines Register, Jim Davis was trying to buy two six packs of Budweiser and some Smirnoff for his wife.

But when the 57-year-old reached the checkout counter at the Walmart Supercenter in Ames, Iowa, with $80 in groceries and the alcohol, the cashier asked his 15-year-old daughter to see her ID – instead of his.

Because the teen had no ID, the employee refused to sell the alcohol to Davis.

It’s part of Wal-Mart’s recent efforts to make sure they aren’t selling alcohol to minors, the store’s customer service department told Davis in response to a complaint he made. The store has had a policy since 2003 requiring ID from all customers who appear under the age of 40.

“In order to ensure that alcoholic beverages and tobacco are not sold to minors, Walmart is testing point-of-sale age checks in some locations across the country,” the customer service statement read. “By testing this, we hope to discover the best methods for ensuring that products are not sold illegally to minors. In addition, to comply with federal laws, stores may ask for the ID from individuals within a group other than the person making the purchase.”

Davis says he was humiliated by the entire experience and will be taking his shopping elsewhere.

“If Walmart is so worried about underage drinking and smoking, why do they sell alcohol and tobacco to begin with?” Davis asked. “Are they going to do this with other potentially dangerous things they sell, like ammo?”

A supervisor later said the employee was wrong to refuse the alcohol sale.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


  • Diane

    Why did the cashier ask the 15 year old for an I.D. ? Did the daughter portray herself as the purchaser liquor There is probably more to this story than dad is saying. I applaud the Walmart associate who refused to sell liquor to a minor. This could have been a sting operation which law enforcement enact quite often.

    • joe blow

      There is no more to the story. Thats it. Why when there is a dumb policy people seem to think there is more to it. Go to walmart and many other stores and these idiots card everyone within ten feet of u. So next time you will go in the store alone so what did they achieve?

      • Liz

        You said yourself it’s policy. That means if the cashier didn’t do it they could get fired. What makes you people think you’re so special that you deserve special treatment, especially at someone else’s detriment? Why should someone get to throw a fit and get their way? This story doesn’t need to be news, the guy should have acted like an adult and got his booze elsewhere. Hell, he could have just come back later without his daughter to get it.

        Think about how immature this guy is. He probably threw a fit about it, which is why he felt ’embarrassed’, as opposed to just saying “Oh, okay”, and then he went to the news about it.

        He went to the news. He actually called someone up and complained about Walmart’s policy. And don’t tell me that there’s some justification because the cashier’s supervisor backtracked about it. You guys throw such big fits that these stores will say anything after the fact to get you to shut up.

        Just go shop someplace else.

        Oh, wait, Walmart’s prices are better. Better get ready to swallow that pride the next time you need cheap booze.

      • mike

        Same happened to me and I was treated with a lot of disrespect, I felt slso humiliated. Amd guess what, I stopped shopping at Walmart. Do not care for few dollars savings. I took my business where it is appreciated. Thank you very much, never shop at Walmart again.

    • Deanna

      Our Walmart does the same policy here in Indiana. Leave liquor sales to the liquor stores! I do not shop Walmart. Ever! They are the worst corporation ever!! Research other problems and you’ll see how bad they are. Will never give them my money!!

    • joe blow

      A sting? Lol its not illegal to sell liquor if the person is of age. Its not the law to card everyone…they MAYbut its not the law.

    • Shawna l. Grooms

      I was ready to call law enforcement myself, a police officer is the only person that has the right to see where my child lives or goes to school not a stranger at walmart.

      • Jason Verns

        I’m totally against clerks / strangers viewing the name and address of not only minors, But any person.
        They only need age verification on the photo ID.
        Sex predators gain access using these type of methods, and also stalkers.

    • joe blow

      Every time i think about Dianes comment i wish i could slap her for being sodamn stupid. The damn story says its their policy why does there have to be more to the story. And a sting lol like its illegal to sell to a person of age.

    • PeterT

      Exactly. A lot of people who have commented seem to have missed this part of the article.
      “A supervisor later said the employee was wrong to refuse the alcohol sale.”

      One of the Walmarts by me is in a town that has made it mandatory to card everybody buying alcohol. It does not apply to everyone in the company of someone buying alcohol.

      I think that a person of legal age who buys alcohol for an underage person would be legally liable for the crime, not the cashier. I think that an exception would be made if the cashier was involved, and repeatedly sold indirectly to minors in that way.

      But then again, I am involved in the enforcement of laws.

  • Chris

    I’m surprised people are shocked by this… I am only a simple customer, yet I’ve known about Walmart’s policy on this since it was first put in place. I’m not saying I agree with it though, considering how many Walmart’s actually DON’T sell alcohol, you’d think it would be easier to just not sell it at any of their stores. If I were to go there with the intent to purchase alcohol, I’m sorry but I am going to bring my child with me as I am his sole caretaker and I’m certainly not going to leave him sitting in the hot car so I can go get some booze without them asking for his ID. Rediculous…

  • MrCrabs

    Walmart does not hire people who think. They hire drones. Only one employee at my Walmart is personable and helpful. The rest avoid customers at all cost. So, this story is no surprise.

    • Liz

      Just because they’re following policy and trying not to lose their job or get arrested doesn’t mean that they’re idiots. Maybe you should just stop shopping there if you don’t like the rules. I mean, really, if everyone around you is avoiding you it’s probably more your fault than theirs. Who wants to deal with some asshole customer that assumes they’re all idiots just because they happen to work at Walmart? Do you even understand how ridiculously flawed your thinking is?

      • mike

        Liz, admit it, you eork there yourself, don’t you? And by the way, it’s your thinking that is flawed!

      • diane

        Many grocery stores cash registers are now programed so when a liquor or tobacco item is rung up , the machine actual display asks for an I.D. or the product can’t be rung up. This requires the clerk to ask and can be grounds for termination if neglected. i know this because family members have taken company seminars on liquor sales in Illinios.

  • Shawna l. Grooms

    My 16 yr old daughter was with me buying alcohol I had additional items as well totaling over $100, and she was carded also she did not have her very new drivers license with her and our cashier said her school I’d would be fine. Now here’s my problem an employee whom I do not know has the right to view my minor child’s address or know what school she goes to??? Over my dead body! This is an absolute violation of my right to protect my minor child. We here it on the news everyday sick people targeting young girls and boys, so let’s just hand over the most personal information about our children and make it a little easier for them! I think not terrible idea walmart we will not be returning to any of your stores! Also my teenager had at least $50 worth of beauty products in our cart so epic fail I hope this puts them out of business. Very angry mother!

    • mike diener

      Some people are idiots. Why would you let them see their id if you know they arent 21? This fake outrage is bred from stupidity. Your $100 won’t be missed by walmart as they have only a small amount of drunks that buy liquor from walmart with their children. The others who buy liquor are buying for underage drinkers who should be stopped. criminy

      • Shawna l. Grooms

        I called wgn that very day, the idea of a stranger looking at her school I’d was outrageous. She never touched the alcohol that was a gift for a legal person or the money. School I’d is just a no no, she walks to school is a she going to get kidnaped by this cashier or manager………. Hello Pedophiles have jobs and appear to be normal!

      • Beatriz

        Just because you’re buying alcohol you’re a drunk? I’m sorry you feel that way… maybe from experience? Yep, that must me it. Some people want to enjoy a drink. I personally purchase alcohol for my job… I’m a mixologist and like to come up with new recipes. Please stop being ignorant, it’s what’s messing up the world already.

    • Liz

      You are aware that your address is on your license, correct? And will be on her’s when she gets a license? If you’re so paranoid about this maybe you should stay out of public. A clerk can just as easily figure out where your kid goes to school if she wears a shirt with the school’s name on it.

      • Shawna l. Grooms

        She doesn’t own anything with her school name on it except her gym uniform that she only wears in school. He has a visa debit so she can use a pin and not be asked for id. If she has a traffic violation she can show her id to law enforcement.she has never had to show it so far, and I’m not afraid of being in public but I think as parents we could be a little smarter. We hear it on the news everyday, know who your neighbors are, no facebook post giving back ground detail where you are at the moment she can can do it after she’s not at that place anymore, keep you cell charged so I can locate you if your hurt or stranded, and never give out your personal information ever!

    • riss

      since when does a school id prove age? I don’t get it, why card someone who the obviously know isn’t 21, and if they have a id they still sell as long as the buyer is 21 or older, yet if that same family came in again and the kid forgot their id but still obviously isn’t old enough they refuse? dosent make sense…isn’t checking ids a form of getting age, why would they need to see a school id of a high schooler? and why is it that if a minior shows an id and the buyer is over 21 they will still sell, but if someone who is obviously over 21 dosent have an id on them but the buyer does and is over 21 they refuse….I don’t get their policy

      • Shawna l. Grooms

        To try and prove she is my child, lots of moms and kids don’t have the same last name these days. My daughter has blond hair and blue eyes and I have dark hair and brown eyes we we didn’t look like mother and daughter to walmart. If you look it up this is happening all over. A mother was told she looked to ethnic to be the child’s mother. I read all the complaints, ridiculous

  • treefrog

    A young cashier in the camera dept refused to develop our vacation pic because she deemed them immoral. A person was in a thong bikini in one of the pics. I could go on and on as to how WalMart sells Bikinis etc. I do not shop at Walmart

  • mike

    The cashier did what they were suppose to do. Our walmart in IL does the same thing. They only way they should have been carded was if she was taking the alcohol out of the cart or passing money. Everhone that thinks walmart employees are dumb or drones or they dont think is stupid. Yeah some are like that but NOT ALL of them.

  • James

    They did this to me and some of my friends. My one friend was 19 and had gone through the line before me and had all her stuff and paid and was waiting for me and they still carded her!!

    • Mary

      James as a Walmart cashier that is one thing we are supposed to watch for. If a group of people come in together and one pays then waits for the next person, who is purchasing alcohol, we are supposed to ask for ID because most of the time the person purchasing is planning to share with their underage friend. I’m not saying that you were going to, but that is indeed policy. For me selling the alcohol is not worth losing my job. Walmart is the best job I can get in my community while trying to get my bachelors degree.

  • Mary

    I do work for wal-mart and it is the policy to check all ID’s and it is not to protect Wal-Mart but the cashier. It is a $5.000 fine and or prison meant. For the one who sells it. And lost of his/her job. And yes we do get stings at are store. Do I think that’s Wal-Mart should do this {yes I do.} times now are a lot different then when I grew up.

    • mel

      What Wal-Mart is that? I’ve had my daughter and one of her friends with me when I’ve purchased alcohol and they were never carded. Besides that isn’t what the law states. The person that is making the transaction is the one whom is carded. Not those who are accompanying them.

  • diane

    Directed @ Joe Blow~
    The best paying job I ever had was in high school. My neighborhood police office. asked if I would accompany his 3 year.old daughter ( who resembled my family) into a number of liquor stores and make a few purchases.

    I was holding my ” supposed “daughter in my arms while talking about getting home to make dinner for daddy as I handed the cash over to the clerk. . In less than two hours I had bought 3 carton of cigarettes and a couple of six packs and wine. Five of the seven stores were fined for selling to a minor.
    As for Angry Mom who state only a police officer as the right…….. You are not aware the air lines, pharmacies, gun stores ( including ammo only sales) , post office, school secretaries, and store clerks can ask for an I.D. You can refuse but they can also refuse service to you. The only people NOT allowed to ask for an I.D. are election judges where the most abuse goes on.

    • Shawna l. Grooms

      I thought I clearly said my child is a MINOR! She does not own a gun or need amo, you do not need school I’d to get on a plane we just did it, I am her parent and pick up any prescriptions she may need, she has no need to mail packages either. School secretaries fine I know them anyway because my child goes to that school. Even the library needs my signature because she is a child. Are you even a mother?? My oldest daughter was approached in a park walking to school, so I’m quite aware of where pedophiles hang out parks and SCHOOLS they just wait outside for that one day your child is alone. I have been a mother for 18 yrs and we have never been asked for school id ever! Shame on walmart and you. You are both the problem.

  • Anna

    I shop with my kids 90% of the time & I have picked up something to drink ever once in awhile. I would never buy liquor for my underaged child or any other underaged child. If they carded my child bcuz I was buying liquor, I would probably just put the liquor back bcuz it’s not that serious.

  • pcrusher

    It’s not any stores job to be the moral or liquor police. It is not possible for a cashier to tell who a person that is of legal age is buying liquor for. If I go to the store with my own kids there is no way for a cashier to know if they are my 19 year old kids or some kids I met in the parking lot. People and stores need to mind their own business. It’s not their responsibility to tell everyone else what’s right and wrong.

  • buffycar

    Cashier was not wrong. Technically we have to card the group. If one person is underage then no sale. If it is obviously a parent/child I sell it but if it’s a group of younger people I don’t.

  • mel

    He was the one making the purchase, not his child! It is a case where common sense should prevail! So some of you are stating that no matter how old the child is an ID should be shown? The law is the purchaser is carded, not all of the minors in tow.

  • dontbeadope

    Everybody is confusing laws with store policy. Walmart can do what they want because its their liquor license to lose and if you don’t like it shop somewhere else. When someone goes running to a TV station to report how they were “wronged” like the guy from MN and the boarding process on Southwest Airlines they are attention seekers and it shouldn’t even be deemed newsworthy. Remember even KFC apologized and still offered to donate money to the family that tried to scam them about being asked to leave.

  • Scott

    I would be more embarrassed by actually buying beer for my drunk of a wife in front of my 15 year old daughter. Why don’t you just hand her one because that’s where that’s going.

  • That guy

    Holy hell… I work with this devil of a company and even I’ll tell all of you that you are the worst parents you could possibly be by even teaching your children that Walmart is an appropriate place to shop. You all disgust me.

  • nessa

    I experienced the same thing at Walmart in Vegas. I was shopping with my sister in law. we purchased a bottle of wine. they took her information entered in the computer because she was younger than me yet. it was extremely annoying. made absolutely no sense

  • Paul B.

    I know people are quick to bash Wal-Mart but they are not the only corporation with ridiculous policies. I stood in line, at a gas station, behind an at least 60 year old man who was denied cigarettes because he did not have his ID. People are afraid to lose their jobs that they enforce the rules a little too hard.

  • Billy

    Hello, I work for Jewel osco and am some what familiar with state law(Indiana) If a cashier feels that a minor will end up with the alcoholic beverage he or she can refuse the sale of the product, even if all parties have an ID and are 21.

  • Louise Briana Mikus

    My husband is in the ARMY and we were in Arizona a few months ago before we moved to New York. This happened to us. I did not have my ID – I was not driving. He was the one purchasing and had his wallet. However, since I was with him they would not sell to him and I am 34! They said even if I did have ID, if I was under 21 they would not sell to him since I was present. I argued the case. A lot of families like the one in the article suffer from this. Marriages where one is older than the other, parents with children (are we to ban adults from buying if they have children?) and groups who may be car pooling such as many soldiers do when they drive out from the barracks. Just silly. I told them the same thing – I will shop elsewhere now.

  • Beatriz

    Yep, she probably does work there and gets a bunch of bs from customers. It’s not policy to I.D. everyone that is with you while shopping, Liz. You’re telling me if I go in there with my child and try to purchase alcohol I can’t because my child had no I.D? No because he isn’t buying it. I would understand a group of teenagers shopping together and purchasing alcohol but this was a grown man with his daughter. He wasn’t throwing a fit, anyone would be bothered by this happening to them. Also, Walmart does hire a bunch of idiots that can’t ever tell you where things are and talk ghetto as if they were still in the hood instead of work… including management. They learn to do one thing and that’s all they do , they’re always lazy and mad about being at work. That’s why it’s the only job they can get.

    • RangerJ

      You, you my friend, are an a@$. First off, I worked at Walmart for two and a half years. I have a BA in science from one of the top 50 private universities in the country and am working on my Masters degree. I lost my job when the market crashed and refused to rely on government hand outs!How dare you pass judgement on people who are trying to support themselves as opposed to relying on food stamps and Obamacare?!? Get off your high horse and come back to reality.

  • Darla

    I can’t believe all the comments that are being made about Walmart workers not everyone that works at Walmart is stupid they are human beings just like everybody else doing the job they’re supposed to do they are following the rules that are set by the corporation and state so as not to lose their job. Every body should try working retail sometimes to find out what it’s like and then maybe you wouldn’t be putting down those workers to South guarantee one thing they take a lot of flack from a lot of people

  • Melissa

    Actually if you are a part of a family unit only the purchasing adult; mom, dad, grandparents; are carded if they appear under 40. THAT is the policy on family carding. The only time you card everyone in a group is if they are a bunch of friends together. We the cashiers and yes I am one have the right to refuse the sale if it seems shady. I would rather you walk out pissed off than me go to jail, lose my job and pay a huge fine. MANAGEMENT IS SUPPOSED TO BACK US UP!

  • ChrisCJR

    Management won’t back you up if the person is ultimately of age. You better be careful refusing the sale of products, as your name is printed on the customer’s receipt and all it will take to lose your job is a few complaints directly about you. I’m not saying that you’re going crazy with refusals, but if you are customers will remember your name and management will take it out on you. It’s Walmart and it’s happened before. You have the right to refuse, the customer has the right to complain.

  • Jessica

    If the daughter handled the alcohol at any point during the transaction, the cashier has every right to ask for her ID. I work in a grocery store, and parents will actually allow their children to ring up the alcohol and pay for their transaction. When I tell them that they need to handle the alcohol because the child is a minor, they get upset with me. It does not matter how nicely or nonchalantly you say it. If I allow the child to pay for the transaction, I am, then selling alcohol to a minor. If she set the alcohol on the belt or unloaded the cart, I may of asked for her ID as well. Regardless, I do not feel like leaving my job in handcuffs because I sold alcohol to a minor.

  • ogacihc

    A few years ago at a Wal-Mart shortly after I turned 21 & was shopping with some friends that weren’t yet 21 & my sale included alcohol in it. When the cashier asked to see ALL of our id’s they refused to sell me the alcohol part of the sale. I didn’t fight it but instead we left the store, waited a few mins, then I went back in alone, rebought the alcohol & i also used a different checkout lane. I don’t buy for minors but ever since then IF someone in my group was under 21 when my purchase includes alcohol in it most of the time I will ask them to wait by the exit door, but even the few times they are with me in the line I have never encountered this at ANY other store.

  • Shona

    Pretty much this exact thing happened to my husband this summer. My husband and 12 yo son were in walmart and my 25 yr old son happened to be in the same walmart (they were not together, drove separate cars and did not know the other was even going to walmart). My husband got to the check out and saw our older son checking out and started talking to him . My son checked out first then left, when my husband went to check out with a six pack of beer and MY Malibu rum the checker said he would need to call our other son back into the store so she could ID him. When my husband asked why she gave that same answer as this dad, BUT the weird or should i say DUMB thing is that my husband said what about this kid and pointed to our 12 yo and she said “Oh, we don’t think you would give HIM any alcohol , he’s OBVIOIUSLY too young”. Seriously !? By the way my son refused to come back into the store, he had already driven away and the clerk would NOT sell him the booze So my husband smashed the bottle on the ground and stormed out, (OH WAIT, NO HE DIDN’T. THAT’S WHAT I WOULD HAVE DONE). He left with no beer no rum and no rest of the groceries either. They have gotten so ridiculous, This was in Washington state.

  • Ai Vue

    The same thing happened to me today in the Merced Wal-Mart. I went to purchased some alcohol and i have my 20 year old brother accompany me, and when we get to the register the Cashier named Jade wouldn’t sell the alcohol to me because my brother wasn’t the buying age yet. And i thought to myself “Are you serious! I’m the one buying the alcohol here!” and I’m totally over 21. She still refuse to sell the alcohol to me. I too feel humiliated and is still angry at how she treated me: like an underage person trying to buy alcohol. i keep wondering, For Goodness sake, he’s already 20 why is he even included in my transaction?, why can’t i take other people with me to the store to shop? Why do i have to be alone when purchasing alcohol? Why? Why? According to what I’ve researched (I’ve been doing a lot of research on buying alcohol after this incident) and it’s only illegal if you are buying for a minor. A minor iis classify as a person under the age of 18!!!!!! So Why? Wal-mart? Why Cashier called Jade? Why are you refusing to sell alcohol to 21 years or older people accompany with another person?

    • Dan

      It’s just a “feel good” policy Wal-mart created to say that they are a family friendly environment that takes a stance on selling to minors. Will this policy actually prevent adults from purchasing alcohol fro minors? NO. It will just make sure that they don’t bring them into line with them. This is just shortsighted idea that sounds good on paper, but has no practical use.

  • Suzy

    This exact same thing happened to me in Camby, Indiana. I was buying some groceries which included a bottle of vodka. I was with my 24 year old son. They would not sell me the alcohol unless they saw my son’s ID also. I was the one making the purchase. I feel that this is ridiculous and offensive to law abiding citizens. I really don’t see how refusing to sell to middle-aged people will keep minors from getting alcohol. I certainly had no intention of providing alcohol to a minor. As a result of the way I was treated, I will never shop at Wal-Mart again.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,188 other followers