Article from (the now defunct) www.texassafetynetwork.org
During the 2001 legislative session, House Bill 3016 by Texas Representative Haggerty passed, allowing retail establishments to use electronic equipment to determine the authenticity of personal identification when selling alcohol.
As of September 1, 2001, retailers may legally swipe a driver’s license to verify the age of the person attempting to purchase alcohol.*
Verifying age on ID is a significant problem. The fast pace of checkout puts clerks under pressure to make quick decisions, and altered identification is hard to detect with the naked eye.
Age verification machines take much of the guess work out of selling alcohol. Just by swiping an ID through the hand-held machine, the age of the purchaser and validity of the identification is verified…
*The information gathered when the ID is swiped may not be retained longer than required under the commission rules nor can it be sold or marketed in any manner.