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Social Responsibility

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Preventing sales to minors and those who appear intoxicated is a year-round responsibility LCBO employees take very seriously.

Last year, LCBO staff challenged 7.8 million individuals in 2012-13, for failing to produce valid ID, appearing intoxicated or attempting to purchase for a minor or an impaired individual. Service was refused to more than 322,000 people, with 84 per cent for reasons of age. In Ontario, it’s illegal to consume alcohol before the age of 19.

It’s also illegal for anyone to supply alcohol to minors. When staff have reasonable grounds to believe someone is buying for a minor, the Liquor Licence Act gives them the right and responsibility to refuse the sale.

LCBO’s in-store campaign Responsibility Starts Here reinforces our commitment to responsible service, and reminds would-be purchasers of the consequences of buying alcohol for minors. Under the Liquor Licence Act, anyone convicted of supplying alcohol to a minor faces a fine of up to $200,000 and up to one year in jail. Incorporated licensed establishments can be fined a maximum of $500,000 for this offence. Anyone who holds parties for minors where alcohol is served may also be subject to criminal charges and civil liability.

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LCBO’s year-round Check 25 program is a core responsible retailing program that helps prevent sales to minors by checking the ID of anyone who looks under 25. Posters and signage now in LCBO stores featuring the tagline “25 or younger? Have your I.D. ready” build further awareness among our customers of this policy and help ensure that alcohol is not sold to minors.

Every LCBO employee serving the public takes part in the organization’s Challenge & Refusal: It’s not Personal. It’s the Law. training program. It trains staff on how to deal with customers who appear intoxicated or underage, second-party purchasers (those buying alcohol for someone not legally entitled to purchase it) and difficult refusals at the checkout counter.

Employees learn to identify potential problems and handle them tactfully and to distinguish between characteristics related to health conditions, disabilities and impairment resulting from intoxication.

LCBO’s tamper-resistant Bring Your Identification (BYID) photo card, endorsed by the provincial government, proves that customers are of legal drinking age. To apply for a BYID card, applicants must be 19-35 years of age, supply a passport-size colour photo, photocopies of documents proving date of birth and name, and a $30 fee. A guarantor must sign the back of the photo and all documentation and fill out a section of the application. Random checks help ensure applications and guarantors are valid. Click here to view the application form online or visit any LCBO store for a copy.

BYID cards can be used to purchase beverage alcohol in all retail stores and licensed establishments in Ontario. As of June 1, 2011, there are now eight forms of prescribed ID, which include: Ontario Driver’s Licence, LCBO’s BYID Card, Canadian Passport, Canadian Citizenship Card, Canadian Armed Forces Identification Card, Certificate of Indian Status Card, Permanent Resident Card and Ontario Photo Card.

The LCBO is not alone in promoting responsibility. LCBO store managers and staff also work with school officials and community leaders, participating in meetings, trade and consumer shows and other events to promote responsible drinking.

To further deter underage drinking, the LCBO has developed an information kit, Alcohol Facts for Students – Making Smart Choices. This and other resources for teachers are available on our website to educate students about alcohol. Store managers also ask area high schools for dates of upcoming dances, proms, graduations and other occasions when students and graduates might try to obtain alcohol. As well, LCBO staff visit interested high schools prior to proms to advise students they are on the lookout for underage customers and individuals attempting to purchase for them. In some communities, principals and teachers spend time at the store on prom nights to help deter minors’ attempts to purchase.

Donations raised from prompted donations and donation boxes at LCBO stores help fund Mothers Against Drunk Driving Canada’s (MADD Canada) annual School Assembly Program for students that alerts them to the dangers of impaired driving. This year’s program, Smashed, can be previewed here.

For more information, contact the LCBO Social Responsibility Department at 416 864-6820.

Customers can contact the toll-free, bilingual helloLCBO team at 1-800-668-5226 or online at In Toronto, call 416 365-5900. The TTY number for the deaf and hard of hearing is 416 864-6898 or 1-800-361-3291.


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