Underage drinking at the Langara Café?

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Some students in the Langara Café said they have never been asked for any proof of age. Photo: Jes Cunningham

The Langara Café’s method of carding customers may be allowing underage students to purchase alcohol.

Although the owners say that they usually card their customers, several students who frequent the café say they have never been asked for any proof of age.

Owners say they ask for ID but students disagree

Owner Nam Yoo said that the café asks for proof of age from students the first time they are served. “When we see them again we don’t [card them], because we recognize them.”

However, some first-time customers say that they have never been asked for identification.

“They just asked what I wanted,” said Jordan Jones, a Langara student who turned 19 in October. “I ordered a beer. They opened it, and that was it.”

Allysa Paul, a Langara student, spends a lot of time at the café. “I’ve never seen anyone ID’d there though,” she said.

Provincial government’s liquor rules

The café is operated under a food-primary license, so minors are permitted inside. But the Langara Students’ Union’s website says that because it’s a licensed liquor establishment, customers must present official identification when ordering alcohol.

The guidelines provided by the provincial government say that checking identification isn’t mandatory and is based on the employee’s judgment.  However, serving liquor to a minor is illegal, and staff is expected to put an effective system in place to prevent underage drinking.

Langara Students’ Union will follow up

“The LSU expects all vendors to be following the law, especially when it comes to the consumption of alcohol,” said Gurbax Leelh, media liaison for the LSU. “We are sure they are, as it can become a legal issue if they are not.”

Leelh said that a representative from the building committee will be talking to vendors to ensure all students are being asked for proof of age when ordering alcohol.

There are approximately 2,000 students who are under the legal drinking age of 19 at Langara.

Reported by Jes Cunningham

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