‘Surprised? No, not really!’
The ‘Effective Age-gating for Online Alcohol Sales’ report, funded by Alcohol Change UK, is published today. Written by Jess Muirhead and Vic Grout, it considers the question of how easy it is for UK under 18s to purchase alcohol via the Internet, and makes five key recommendations:
Recommendation 1: The law must be clarified
Despite its best intentions, the current law is ambiguous in relation to how and where safeguards are to be applied to prevent under 18s obtaining alcohol online. If the intention really is to allow age-checking on delivery as a substitute for online verification then that should be published as official guidance by the relevant authorities. However, knowing such measures to be as ineffective as they are, it is to be hoped that the necessary clarification would move the law in the other direction: that robust online age verification – at the transaction stage – becomes a clear legal requirement.