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Smartphone Apps that Home Deliver Alcohol Pose New Worry for Parents

Thursday, December 10, 2015  
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NEW YORK (WABC) -- There is growing concern about a shockingly easy way teenagers are ordering alcohol deliveries right to their front door without parents ever knowing.

A mother in Manhattan tipped Eyewitness News off to this story after her two teenagers and their friends used an app called Postmates. She doesn't want to be identified, but does want other parents to be warned.

Vodka delivered right to you door, no questions asked, sounds like a great idea until teenagers start doing it.

"It should not be readily available with the click of a mouse or a little button on your phone," the concerned mom said.

So who is responsible for checking for identification? It falls on the guy at the door, a messenger.

To test it out, we ordered alcohol using Molly, a 26-year-old writer at Eyewitness News. But even though she is of legal age, she is lives in manhattan and usually gets carded at liquor stores and bars because she looks younger.

The exception was at her front door, getting vodka delivered through an app. There are a few popping up that deliver, and the courier is the first and last line of defense.

In both of our trials, the couriers only checked ID when Molly asked if they needed to see her license. One even noted that she "looked old enough"

The company issued the following statement:

"If a Postmates courier accepts an alcohol order, it is the courier's responsibility to verify the ID of the customer. Before delivering the items, the courier is supposed to verify that the name on the ID matches the name on the order, and that the recipient is 21 years of age. Couriers are trained to cancel the job if these requirements are not met. This was a potential failure on the part of the individual couriers. Postmates will see what improvements, if any, can be made."

The concerned mom says parents need this information, and she doesn't want the delivery men blamed, either.

"It's the system that isn't working, it's the app that's not working or it's the store that's not checking," she said. "It's not the guys making $8 an hour on their bikes delivering it."


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