Mum Refused Alcohol as Daughter Was With Her

A mother from Bridport in Dorset was refused service when she tried to purchase alcohol from her local Co-Op on the grounds that her teenage daughter was with her.

The teenage staff member at the shop denied the sale to Michelle Nokes who is forty four as they thought she was buying the alcohol for use by Gemma, her sixteen year old daughter.  In fact, she was buying the wine, Bacardi and lemonade as her family was organising a barbeque over the bank holiday weekend.

Michelle, a leader for the Guides has stated that she will not be shopping at the Co-Op again and finds the shop’s refusal not only insulting but ridiculous.  She has been a regular customer for over nine years and regularly visits the shop with her children and has purchased alcohol during those visits but never once has she been declined service.  She feels that perhaps, now that her children are older, the shop are judging her parental skills and are assuming that she is allowing her children to consume the alcohol she purchases.  Michelle has commented that she finds this disgraceful and that just because she has her daughter present when she is buying alcohol does not mean that she is breaking any laws.

Michelle is all for protecting young children from the dangers of underage drinking and understands that rules and regulations are put into place at stores all over the country but feels that the Co-Op’s actions undermined her parental responsibilities.  In frustration she wrote to the Co-Op’s head office who responded that their staff was following policy guidelines and they stood by their staff’s decision regarding Michelle’s situation.

Refusals All Over

These types of situations are becoming more and more frequent, particularly in supermarkets where they are refusing to sell people alcohol when they are accompanied by a young person.

  • In March 2009 Ann Bailey from Dronfield in Derbyshire was denied service in Sainsbury’s because her eighteen year old daughter could not prove her age, even though the cashier knew the teenager and had even attended her 18th birthday party.
  • In September 2008 a mother was refused alcohol in Wilnecote, Tamworth while doing her family shopping at Morrisons as her sixteen year old daughter, who was wearing her school uniform at the time, was present.
  • In Portsmouth a forty six year old mother was shopping in Tesco with her fourteen year old daughter and she was informed she could not purchase a bottle of wine.
  • One of the most mindboggling situations however was twenty six year old John Benham from Chandlers Ford in Hants who was refused alcohol in ASDA as his twenty five year old wife had no proof of her age.