(Chattanooga) WRCB - A new effort to curb underage drinking at Southern Brewer's Festival might've caught your attention.
Volunteers were using a scanning device to check ID cards. It had some people wondering, What does that machine 'really' do.
So Eyewitness News decided to ask.
The 16th Annual Southern Brewers Festival is serving up the same fun as years past a growing number of micro brews to taste and music to enjoy. But there was something different, a gadget used to scan the strip on the back of a driver's license.
Kelly Skinnner of Big River Grille says, "Volunteers were at the gate and we wanted to help give them piece of mind as far as carding was concerned."
It had some folks asking questions.
Jerry Castillo of Cleveland says, "If they'd done that because there's no reason to do that."
Jerry castillo says he and his wife enjoyed Brew Fest. But that no one scanned his driver's license. He says if they had, he says he'd been curious.
Castillo adds, " I can understand checking them, but not scanning it's information you may not want released."
So we went to the Tennessee Department of Safety to ask just what the little strip reveals.
District Manager says, "See you're name, address, date of birth, you can't get the social security because it's not on the face of the license."
So they can tap into everything but the photo which Caroline Walker says is coming. But in the meantime, restaurants like Big River Grille are using these daily.
Manager Kelly Skinner says, "We're in a big college town and it's important we're following the law. Fake id's have come a long way."
Skinner says this device is for nothing more than making sure an ID is valid and it spells it out plainly when it's not. Still some wonder if the scanner is capable of more.
Castillo says, "Absolutely you wanna know what they're doing with it, pass out or who knows?"
So we asked if the information was stored anywhere.
Skinner says, "Unfortunately I don't know the answer to that, but we don't store it anywhere. The only thing we use it for is to make sure they're 21."
This was the first year organizers used the ID scan at Brew Fest
But Big River has had the technology for over a year.
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