See below for parts I and II.
Schmidt and I left
I turned to a number of sources for the first question. First, I e-mailed the office of San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders and asked if in fact O’Connells was legally required to boot me since I had no photo ID. The next day, I received this response:
Private establishments do have the right to refuse entrance to patrons who do not have proper identification. What is most important is that you have a current identification with your picture. Therefore, temporary licenses only work as identification as long as you have your expired license. Since your prior license was stolen, you must have other proper identification such as a passport or identification card.
Office of the Mayor
I also e-mailed San Diego County Supervisor Greg Cox (no specific reason why I e-mailed Cox; he was just the first one I found) and asked him the same question. Two days later, he responded with this:
Thank you for taking the time to contact me regarding the identification regulations that exist for local liquor the [sic] establishments. Proper identification at drinking establishments is an area of law entirely governed by State of
Hope this information helps.
Supervisor, First District
So far, so confusing. Two different officials gave me two different answers. The mayor said I need some form of photo ID to gain entry, the supervisor said it’s up to the bars’ discretion. I’m sure this discrepancy can be explained by the fact that the state sets these regulations rather than municipalities, if Cox is correct. I think Cox backed up his answer more solidly than the mayor’s office, but I’m a tad biased.
So I needed to go to the state for the definitive answer. Instead of trying to wade through the
After a few days’ searching, the library sent me an exhaustive reply. Here’s the pertinent, and I think definitive, information from the San Diego Municipal Code and California Alcoholic Beverage Control:
The [San Diego Municipal Code] section I found that most specifically addressed your question at the city level is 56.62, section a(1). I’ve copied the text below:
It is the duty of any person having control of any premises, who knowingly hosts, permits, or allows a gathering at said premises to take all reasonable steps to prevent the consumption of alcoholic beverages by any minor at the gathering. Reasonable steps are controlling access to alcoholic beverages at the gathering; verifying the age of persons attending the gathering by inspecting drivers licenses or other government-issued identification cards to ensure that minors do not consume alcoholic beverages while at the gathering; and supervising the activities of minors at the gathering.
The research hound then turned to the state for a definition of proper photo identification.
In their section of Frequently Asked Questions about Enforcement and Violations (http://www.abc.ca.gov/questions/enforcement_faq.html#Q.%2074.), Alcoholic Beverage Control offers this definition of acceptable identification:
Q. 74. What is documentary evidence of age and identity?
A. To be suitable as evidence for a defense, the identification card must be issued by a governmental agency and have a current description and a picture of the person presenting it which reasonably describes the person as to date of birth weight, height, sex and color of eyes and hair. No defense will exist if the card has obviously been altered or has expired. A registration certificate issued under the Federal Selective Service Act is no longer considered documentary evidence of age, identity and date of birth. (Section 25660)
So there we have it: I didn’t have sufficient identification to be served suds, but O’Connells was under no legal obligation to kick me out. None of the language the library service found forbade someone without ID establishing age of majority from merely being in a bar.
O’Connells is a private business, and it can do whatever it wants. I have no problem with a bar refusing to serve some moron with a temporary ID. Had that been a fake, O’Connells could have gotten in tons of trouble, and no one wants that. But I also think the people who run O’Connells are smart enough to have the discretion to look at me, listen to my story, and allow me to just sit there and listen to the Blanks. Cook put it more eloquently than I did, but it’s obvious that I’m safely older than 21. O’Connells’ restrictive policy prevented me from having what promised to be an outstanding evening, and did nothing to protect its liquor license or standing in the community.
As for the concrete domes along the 5, I’ll have to get a photo the next time I’m en route to and/or from
AN IDIOT’S EPILOGUE: After we got back to
And there was my new license. And there was wailing, and gnashing of teeth, and throwing of things.
Two words about the Tigers, about which more soon: Holy Christ.