The Daily Iowan

Alcoholic Beverages Division creates new tool to verify IDs

The app includes links to online training and a calendar. Since the app went live, it has had 2,700 interactions.

In+this+composite+photo%2C+businesses+line+Clinton+St.+in+Iowa+City+on+a+summer+evening.+Tuesday%2C+September+12%2C+2017.+
Back to Article
Back to Article

Alcoholic Beverages Division creates new tool to verify IDs

In this composite photo, businesses line Clinton St. in Iowa City on a summer evening. Tuesday, September 12, 2017.

In this composite photo, businesses line Clinton St. in Iowa City on a summer evening. Tuesday, September 12, 2017.

David Harmantas

In this composite photo, businesses line Clinton St. in Iowa City on a summer evening. Tuesday, September 12, 2017.

David Harmantas

David Harmantas

In this composite photo, businesses line Clinton St. in Iowa City on a summer evening. Tuesday, September 12, 2017.

Andy Mitchell, News Reporter

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






The Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division has rolled out a new smartphone app to use as a tool to verify the age of customers seeking to purchase alcohol or tobacco products.

Division spokesman Jake Holmes said the app, which includes a calendar and an ID scanner, was developed after the agency stopped producing physical calendars.

“In 2018, we decided not to produce those anymore because they were too costly,” Holmes said. “We wanted to come up with another solution because they were really popular.”

The idea started as just a digital calendar on a smartphone app, but the Alcohol Division wanted to improve it with links to online training courses and to go even further with the ID scanner. The scanner feature looks at an ID’s barcode and determine its validity.

“We intend it for retailers in the state just because we stopped sending those calendars and to help them follow the law,” he said. “Having it on a mobile phone and easy-to-use app, we want to get it out to as many people as we can.”

We just want to say that while we think it is a very good tool, it’s simply a supplemental tool, it doesn’t replace the necessary steps and actual evidence that you’ll need to determine age.”

— ABD spokesman Jake Holmes

The technology is not an entirely new frontier; retailers such as Hy-Vee are equipped with barcode scanners for IDs.

Drake University tested the program at its home basketball games, and Holmes said officials there praised the app’s simplicity and efficiency.

“So far, all the feedback we’ve gotten has been positive,” he said.

Since the app went live, he reported, the scan function has been used 2,700 times.

“We’re still trying to send out communications to retailers and law enforcement to get people familiar with it,” Holmes said.

RELATED: Iowa City releases list of bars with most under-21 drinking violations

Derek Frank, the public-information officer, said after trying it out himself, he thinks the app could be a great benefit to local retailers as long as it is used as just a tool.

“I think it’s just another good tool for people to be able to use to confirm and not put themselves in a position where they’d get a citation,” Frank said.

Nora Corry, front of house manager of restaurant and bar the Mill, said the app could be a good tool for bars with such disadvantages as low lighting.

Corry also said using the app could cut off the interaction a server or bartender would have with the customer, and the tool could be better suited for someone such as a bouncer or a position that is not so focused on customer service.

“I think it’s good for bars known for having underage people,” Corry said.

Holmes said the Alcohol Division is working on ways to improve the app as well, such as making adjustments for state ID scans that have issues and using software updates. He also stressed the importance that the app is just a tool to make sure alcohol and tobacco are not being sold to underage customers.

“We just want to say that while we think it is a very good tool, it’s simply a supplemental tool; it doesn’t replace the necessary steps and actual evidence that you’ll need to determine age,” Holmes said.

Comments

comments

About the Writer
Andy Mitchell, News Reporter

Email: [email protected]

Andy Mitchell is a news reporter at The Daily Iowan. He is a junior at the University of Iowa studying journalism and...

Navigate Left
  • Alcoholic Beverages Division creates new tool to verify IDs

    Latest News

    Library offers summer reading program in 6 languages to increase accessibility

  • Alcoholic Beverages Division creates new tool to verify IDs

    Campus

    Obermann conversation covers the power of music in film

  • Alcoholic Beverages Division creates new tool to verify IDs

    City Council

    The future of Dodge Street includes a massive construction project slated for 2023

  • Alcoholic Beverages Division creates new tool to verify IDs

    Campus

    Iowa City partners with UI, Johnson County to keep county clean inside and outside

  • Alcoholic Beverages Division creates new tool to verify IDs

    Latest News

    UISG votes ‘no’ on proposed FilmScene equipment expansion

  • Alcoholic Beverages Division creates new tool to verify IDs

    Downtown

    Iowa City continues pothole-repair process

  • Alcoholic Beverages Division creates new tool to verify IDs

    Latest News

    Ped Mall construction set to begin Phase 2 in May

  • Alcoholic Beverages Division creates new tool to verify IDs

    Latest News

    Barre3 opened doors to Iowa City-area residents this week

  • Alcoholic Beverages Division creates new tool to verify IDs

    Downtown

    ‘Stronger than Hate’ panel sheds light on overcoming anti-Semitism

  • Alcoholic Beverages Division creates new tool to verify IDs

    Latest News

    Iowa City Downtown District begins search for new nighttime mayor

Navigate Right