Tennessee first state to require stores to card all beer buyers

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Comer Wilson hasn't had to show his ID to buy beer in a while. Maybe it's the long white beard; maybe it's because he's 66 years old.

Starting Sunday, gray hair won't be good enough. Wilson and everyone else will be required to show identification before buying beer in Tennessee stores - no matter how old the buyer appears.

"It's the stupidest law I ever heard of," Wilson said. "You can see I'm over 21." Tennessee is the first state to make universal carding mandatory, says the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association, but the new law does not apply to beer sales in bars and restaurants, and it does not cover wine and liquor, which have a higher alcohol content.

Supporters say it keeps grocery store and convenience store clerks from having to guess a person's age.

Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen said it's a good way to address the problems of underage drinking. And the 63-year-old governor said he personally won't mind the extra effort to buy beer.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)