For many people getting carded at the liquor store is an inconvenience (or compliment) that end’s once the gray hairs start coming in, but a new initiative from a substance abuse prevention group in Ocean County wants retailers to ask ID for everyone regardless of age.

DART, the substance abuse awareness coalition based in Lakewood, is trumpeting a campaign for alcohol retailers to abide by a policy of 100 percent carding for all purchases, rather than only based at the discretion of employees.

DART director Bob Goldschlag says with most stores leaving the decision up to the clerk, many of whom are under thirty themselves, leaves a lot of variables that could lead to underage persons buying alcohol.

“They take a guess, ‘Do you look like you’re over 21? Do you look like you’re over 25? Do you look like you’re old or young?’”

He notes the program is effective. Noting, that in states that have implemented there has been a dramatic decrease in attempted underage alcohol purchases.

“The word gets out on the street so to speak. If you’re underage, don’t waste your time going to x-y-z establishment because you’re going to get carded and you won’t get away with it no matter how old you look.”

There are currently four locations that have already agreed to participate with DART on the carding program, as well as certain major retailers such as Wegman’s already had universal carding requirements prior to the fact.

“Friday’s in Brick on route 70, they have adopted it. The Mulligan’s in Toms River on Hooper Avenue has adopted it. The package good as part of the Office Lounge in Toms River has adopted it, and a big coupe, Great Adventure has recently adopted it.”

Goldschlag believes having the policy is one of the most effective means retailers have of preventing the underage drinking.

“If of course there is someone waiting out in the parking lot there is very little a liquor store can do about that.”

He does note DART is working with local police throughout the county as part of the “Cops in Shops” program to address and prevent alcohol being purchased for anyone who is underage.

The universal carding initiative is being tackled on a store-by-store basis by DART, however Goldschlag would like to see it enter the legislature.

“In an ideal world I would be successful in convincing the state legislature or the states alcohol control commission in adopting it state wide.”

Traditionally one of the main complaints with across the board carding is the inconvenience of having to get your driver’s license when a customer is clearly over twenty one. Goldschlag says if you really think about it, it’s a minor inconvenience compared wit how much it can help prevent underage drinking.

“You’re opening your wallet to either get your credit card or your money out anyway. So it isn’t a major thing to show your license.”