Washington seeks to prevent underage liquor purchases

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OLYMPIA (AP) — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee approved a change to state law Wednesday that requires retailers to place stringent controls over alcohol sales at self-checkout machines.

Under the new law, supermarkets would require self-checkout machines at supermarkets to freeze transactions involving alcohol sales until a worker verifies the buyer is at least 21 years old. The measure passed unanimously through both the House and Senate amid concerns that underage shoppers were able to purchase liquor without scrutiny.

Many retailers already have employees or automated systems to monitor alcohol purchases and self-checkout machines. Store clerks were among those who supported the law because they don’t want to be held responsible for minors acquiring alcohol through the self-checkout stations.

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