Montgomery Co. to card all booze buyers, no matter age

WASHINGTON — Even if you have gray hair, you should have your identification ready when you buy booze in Montgomery County, Maryland, as a new policy takes take effect in the coming months.

Under the new rule, liquor stores in the county will card all customers, no matter how old they look.

“I think the change is a good change,” Robert Dorfman, director of the Montgomery County Department of Liquor Control, told NBC Washington.

“It’s good for our employees and it’s good for our customers.”

Currently, employees are told to ask for identification if a customer looks under 35.

Dorfman said the new policy, which takes effect in July, will be less subjective.

“We’re just going do like a lot of other restaurants and mom and pop beer and wine stores do in this county,” he told NBC Washington.

According to the DLC website, acceptable forms of identification include a state driver’s license with a picture, a military identification, a passport, an immigration card and an identification card issued by a State Motor Vehicle Administration.

The identification issue is one of many changes being implemented under Dorfman, a businessman who took the DLC position earlier this year.

One of the most significant new policies Dorfman is overseeing involves private businesses selling liquor.

Currently, only 27 county-run stores can sell liquor, but that will change under a bill that is expected to be signed soon by Gov. Larry Hogan.

The bill, which passed through the General Assembly with broad support during the legislative session that ended last month, allows private businesses in the county to sell liquor by obtaining contracts with the DLC.

Dorfman told county council members last week that he is assembling a group of stakeholders and other industry experts who will help develop criteria for determining which businesses are awarded contracts and how many contracts are given out.

“There are a lot of sensitivities to how these contracts are granted,” he said.

Although the bill is set to take effect in July, Dorfman said the agency needs “adequate time” to establish its new system for selling liquor and that contracts would not be awarded until January at the earliest.

Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

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