Prove it: ID checks are set to become mandatory in bars and nightclubs across the island. *iStock photo
Prove it: ID checks are set to become mandatory in bars and nightclubs across the island. *iStock photo

Bars and restaurants have welcomed mandatory ID checks that are scheduled to come into effect shortly.

In Friday’s Throne Speech, it was announced that providing proof of age is to be mandatory in bars and nightclubs before alcohol is served. 

However, many bars in Bermuda already check ID.

Rick Olson, owner of Bermuda Bistro at The Beach, said: “Regarding the ID check, that is no big deal as we, like most public establishments, do an excellent job on that issue along with having good security.

“There appears to be a problem with private parties when occasional liquor licences are issued and with private members clubs who don’t have security at all or not enough for large gatherings.

“It will not change the way we do business, but it could for other restaurants who get lumped into the same category — ie should Tom Moores and Four Ways Inn be subject to the same policies as they have the exact same licence as The Beach, Docksiders etc.

“The solution seems best to start with a new and different categories of liquor licences with different restriction and fee schedules.

Phil Barnet, president of Island Restaurant Group, also said business wouldn’t change much, especially at hot spot Pickled Onion.

“I will just say that most liquor licence holders that I know take their responsibilities under their licence very seriously, so I know may places already have robust ID’ing protocols already in place.

“For example, in our company, service of underage patrons is listed as a gross misconduct in our employee handbook, and can result in penalties up to and including termination. 

“We have a policy that anyone who looks even remotely underage is required to show proper ID of proof of age. 

“So how will it affect our business? Shouldn’t at all as it is already against the law to serve underage patrons.”

Iain Redford, manager of Docksiders Pub, added: “The pros are that it protects us, especially if we have police come in.

“Sometimes we get underage people come in with the beer pong and then they have fake licences. 

“We don’t have the equipment or resources to know that they are legitimate IDs.

“The cons are if we have regulars coming in and they are required to show proof of age, that may deter them a little bit.

“But if all of Bermuda is doing it, I don’t see a problem with it. It won’t hurt business.”

Gladwyn Ming, an owner of The Spinning Wheel Nightclub, said they have been doing mandatory ID checks for some time.

“It’s been going very well. All of our bartenders are members of the TIPPs organization that CADA spearheaded. We are very close to that organization. So far it’s been good.”