I am a legal-aged student in my country (Australia, so I am 18,) after school I enter a liquor store with the intention to purchase. I am stopped at the door and told that I will not be allowed to purchase because I am in school uniform. There is no signage to indicate that you mustn’t be in school uniform and (as far as I know, based on what I’ve looked up) it is not illegal to serve students in school uniform as long as they are 18. This store has no other dress code and the workers even attempted to tell me that it was illegal to sell to students in school uniform. Is this policy legal, are stores legally allowed to refuse me service based on what I’m dressed in even though there is no signage to say that?

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    I can understand why a store would have a policy that says 18 year olds can only buy liquor in mufti, but I'll defer to an Australian to determine the state of the law on this issue, which may not be identical in every Australian state. – ohwilleke Jul 19 '18 at 13:39
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    In my home country it was forbidden by the school to purchase or consume alcohol while in school uniform (regardless of whether or not you're of legal age). Perhaps this is the situation you're actually in - and the liquor store is trying to prevent you from getting into trouble with your school and not with the law. The workers there may be confused regarding the rules ... – brhans Jul 19 '18 at 14:58
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    @brhans Generally schools in Australia do not have any authority once you're out of school hours and off school grounds; sure they can ask you not to do something while in your school uniform, however it is not something forbidden by the school, mind you I go to a public school. The workers at the store specifically stated it was a store policy because "it looked bad" to the community if students were seen entering and then leaving with alcohol. – 大学生 Jul 20 '18 at 0:36

Just because it is legal for you to buy something does not mean a shop is required to sell it to you; many shops in the UK have a policy that anything that requires the purchaser to be over 18 will not be sold to anyone under 25 without identification. This reduces the shop's sales and annoys many perfectly legal potential customers, but the managers think it worthwhile to reduce the danger of inadvertently breaking the law on underage sales.

I don't believe it is illegal to sell alcohol to a customer in school uniform, but it may well be a breach of the school rules (either directly or 'damaging the reputation of the school'), and the store would rather keep in with the school authorities than gain one dubious sale.

The only possible breach of the law would be if the store's policy constituted indirect discrimination; only selling to customers with beards would be sensible from an age-related viewpoint, but would illegally discriminate against women.

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