Universal carding legislation headed to governor

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A bill that would make Tennessee the first state in the nation to require universal carding of beer buyers at retail stores is on the way to Governor Bredesen.

The state House passed it 75-to-20 today. The Senate had earlier approved the bill unanimously.

It would require store clerks to check the I-D of everyone who wants to buy beer.

Besides mandatory carding, the legislation would also create a voluntary program for extra training of clerks. Membership in the program would exempt stores from having their licenses suspended by local beer boards, unless they sell beer to minors twice in 12 months.

The bill was backed by the convenience store owners who have many underage customers.

The proposed law would not apply to bars and restaurants, or liquor stores where only liquor and wine can be purchased.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)