Hy-Vee stores in at least one southeast Iowa city have started checking the identification of everyone who buys tobacco or alcohol – even senior citizens. The two grocery stores and a drugstore in Ottumwa have initiated changes after the Hy-Vee DrugTown was cited several times for selling to minors or failing to ask for ID.
Employees of the stores are now required to ask everyone for identification. Under the new policy, cashiers must scan the customer’s driver’s license or other form of identification in order for any sale of alcohol or tobacco to go through.
Store officials say the change protects the consumer’s right to buy, but also protects the company from more problems in the future. Store manager Jason Bishop says most customers understand why the company made the change and agree there needs to be protections in place to keep cigarettes and alcohol out of the hands of minors.
By Mike Buchanan, KBIZ, Ottumwa