Thursday, September 9, 2010

License to Drink

Stopping in a bar for a cold one is something we don’t think twice about until we get home and face the wife. It is a simple pleasure that we just do after our workday. What never enters our minds is the fact that we need a license to drink. Merchants need one to sell and yes, we need one to consume. Prior to the introduction of the photo ID, the LCB issued cards that showed that you were of legal age. If you did not have one you did not drink. The state dropped them like an empty wine bottle after the DOT rolled out the new driver’s licenses with your mug shot on the front. That, along with a passport, non-driver ID or military ID is what allows you to sip, slurp or slide shots down the old pipe. Under the law, a bartender can deny you service, no matter your age, if you can’t produce an ID. So far it is not a problem but I see trouble coming to River City.

With advances to technology I see the day coming when you will have your ID swiped and information stored on it as to what you bought AND paid for. Should you get pulled over at a checkpoint your card can be read and you questioned about your bar bill. Years ago the State of Utah required all spirit bottles be hard-wired to a computer. When a shot is poured a signal goes out to the LCB and they know what their take is from a bar or restaurant. No freebies there. More on this here.

Other systems are in place that monitors the volume of booze coming out of bottles as shown by Ali Baba.

A story in the news illustrates just how microchips are being forced into our daily lives. Local governments are placing chips in recycle bins and read by local authorities. Should you not recycle the chip will squeal on you and you will be sent a fine. Along with this utilities are installing smart meters that read your power consumption by the minute and soon by the appliance.

I am no conspiracy theorist, but all of this is disconcerting. Back in my father’s day my mum monitored his drinking. Now I am looking for the day when government is going count my shots for me. We may not be able to stop it but at least they can buy a round, now and then.

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