VinoShipper report finds that minors are not utilizing the internet to access alcohol


A recent study by VinoShipper found that minors are not utilizing the internet to access alcohol. VinoShipper analyzed attempted purchases on its website and discovered over a three-year period (2020-2022) that of the 633,985 attempted purchases, only 943 attempted purchases were made by minors. In percentage terms, only 0.15% of all attempted purchases were by minors.

VinoShipper age verifies purchasers utilizing IDology, a system which verifies a potential purchaser through public records. Under IDology to properly verify the purchasers age, the purchaser must put in their proper address and name, if the address and name are not entered properly, the order will not proceed, until someone puts in their proper information. Anyone not verified through public records as over 21, will fail the age verification test.

Vinoshipper indicated in the study that brick and mortar do not track the attempted number of minor purchases, so there is no way of knowing whether retailer practices are discouraging minor attempted purchases.

What we do know is the data for online purchasing is more exact than the brick-and-mortar stats, as the brick and mortar do not rely on advanced technology to track such data. Further, state data is incomplete as with the scarce resources of states, they can only test a small percentage of retail stores.

The Real Story

In 2005 the U.S. Supreme Court in Granholm concluded an FTC report found that “allowing direct shipments report no problems with minors’ increased access to wine.” Granholm v. Heald, 544 U.S. 460, 490 (2005). The Supreme Court provided three sound reasons for reaching its conclusion.

Since that time certain industries members have tried to prove the opposite. Through relying on stings that are simulated and not a natural process, a crisis of increased access to minors based on DTC shipping has been fermented.

What the VinoShipper study demonstrates is minors are not even going online to purchase alcohol in the first place. In other words, the situation in which the stings simulate, are not occurring in real life.

We all must work to eliminate access to minors obtaining alcohol, zero is the goal. The study’s stats demonstrate that with the low and almost zero rate of attempted purchases, that increasing DTC shipping is not leading to increased access to alcohol for minors.

Also, the good news in this study is that IDology denies access to those minors it identifies.

In concluding, in order for increased DTC access to lead to increases in alcohol sales to minors, minors must go online to purchase alcohol in the first place. The evidence demonstrates that minors attempting to purchase alcohol online is occurring at miniscule rates that are nearly zero. As old logic goes if A then B, if not A then not B. Simple logic tells the truth in this story!