On Monday, Dec. 4, the National Drug Hotline reported that teenagers across the United States are evading minimum alcohol purchase age requirements by hiding behind their masks. Retailers are being warned to stay vigilant and become much stricter in who they ask for ID.

In many cases, teenagers are combining masks with hats, glasses, and deceptive clothing to disguise their age or appear much older than they are.

Store employees are embarrassed to ask for ID when a person’s age is difficult to pin down, providing underage drinkers with an opportunity to evade drinking laws. The right combination of attire can add more than ten years to your perceived age when facial features are less identifiable.

Drug Helpline is calling on stores to card anyone appearing under the age of 40 attempting to buy alcohol and is inviting parents to call the Alcohol Abuse Hotline at (844)289-0879 should they have any concerns about problematic drinking.


Several viral TikTok videos have demonstrated the effectiveness of wearing a mask to disguise age and buy alcohol. Two million watched a brunette with headscarf and glasses buy bottles of wines, while another viral hit showed a young woman with prosthetic wrinkles, gray hair, and headscarf buy cider from a 7-Eleven.

Underage Drinker Hotline

About the National Drug Hotline 

The National Drug Hotline is dedicated to making a positive change in the lives of those struggling with addiction. Its website and helpline are for members of the public that want access to quality information and resources to overcome drug and alcohol dependency. For more information, visit drughelpline.org