Has COVID-19 opened a door for teens to access alcohol easier? The mandatory masks, that almost all of us put on heading into a store are, according to Drug Helpline, giving teens a shot at getting shots of alcohol.
The organization states that teens are in some cases able to evade minimum alcohol purchase age requirements by hiding behind their masks.
Drug Helpline. wants to inform retailers of alcohol to stay vigilant, and become much stricter in who they ask for ID.
Drug Helpline says that “Store employees are embarrassed to ask for ID when a person’s age is difficult to pin down, providing underage drinkers with an opportunity to evade drinking laws. The right combination of attire can add more than 10 years to your perceived age when facial features are less identifiable.”
“Teenagers in many cases are combining masks with hats, glasses and deceptive clothing to disguise their age or appear much older than they are.”
The organization points to a number of viral TikTok videos which have demonstrated the effectiveness of wearing a mask to disguise age and buy alcohol.
Two million watched a brunette with headscarf and glasses buy bottles of wines, while another viral hit showed a young woman with prosthetic wrinkles, gray hair and headscarf buy cider from a 7-Eleven.
Drug Helpline is calling on stores to card anyone appearing under the age of 40 attempting to buy alcohol, and is inviting parents to call the Alcohol Abuse Hotline on 1-844-289-0879 should they have any concerns about problematic drinking.