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Self-Service Checkout Counters: Too Easy For Kids To Buy Booze?

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Public officials and faith leaders in San Diego are urging the governor to sign a measure that would ban alcohol sales at self-service checkout counters. A recent test of local retailers shows the current system isn't foolproof.

— Public officials and faith leaders in San Diego are urging the governor to sign a measure that would ban alcohol sales at self-service checkout counters. A recent test of local retailers shows the current system isn't foolproof.

The social service arm of San Diego's United Methodist Church sent young people out to 29 local retailers. They wanted to see if it was possible to use self-service checkout machines to buy booze without having to show I.D.

Raul Gamez found a way to beat the system.

"It was pretty easy," Gamez says. "I grabbed a 12-pack of beer, and a 12-pack of Coke. I scanned the Coke, bagged the beer, paid the money, walked out. As simple as that."

That technique worked nearly seven out of ten times.

Supporters of the measure to ban self-service alcohol sales say it's one way to cut off access to kids who are underage.

The grocery industry maintains there are already safeguards to prevent illegal access.

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