Since launching alcohol delivery in Massachusetts more than two years ago, we have worked tirelessly to build an experience centered around trust and safety. Responsible alcohol delivery helps local businesses thrive in the digital age, offers increased earning opportunities for Dashers, and improves access to a wide variety of choices for customers.
We understand the responsibility that we have to ensure that deliveries of alcohol are done safely, and it is one we do not take lightly. This is especially true in Massachusetts, a hub for higher education that is home to among the highest concentration of colleges and universities nationwide.
We've already put in place best-in-class safety features including advanced two-step ID verification, safety and alcohol-specific compliance modules for Dashers, and a voluntary self-exclusion or opt-out register for consumers who don't want alcohol delivered. We’re also working with Massachusetts policymakers to ensure our services meet the highest safety standards.
Still, we know there will always be more work to be done to help make sure that these deliveries are done as safely as possible. That’s why we’re continuing to build on and expand our industry-leading alcohol safety features, rolling out additional features that help address the unique challenges posed with such a high concentration of college students in Massachusetts.
New High-Risk Area Bans
We understand that even one delivery of alcohol made to underage consumers is too many. To further strengthen these protections, and going beyond what is required by state law, we will be blocking deliveries to college campuses and implementing bans on similar high-risk areas. Simply put — if you are on a college campus, you will not be able to order alcohol for delivery on the DoorDash Marketplace platform.
Improved Scanning Technology
We know that some underage people may try to use fraudulent IDs for purchasing alcohol, and we’ve seen an increased need for action across Massachusetts. In partnership with our trusted third-party technology vendor, we’ve continued to test and explore improvements to our industry-leading two-step ID verification — in many cases going above what is used for a typical in-store transaction — with the same fast ID recognition that Dashers and customers have come to expect.
Enhanced Dasher Alcohol Compliance Tools
Even with these protections, we want to make sure that Dashers always feel confident about alcohol deliveries and have the support that they need to ensure everyone has the best and safest experience.
In many states, Dashers must complete an alcohol compliance module on safe and responsible delivery that provides detailed guidelines to Dashers on how to safely and compliantly deliver alcohol. In Massachusetts, alcohol delivery opportunities are now only available to Dashers who have completed this module.
In addition to containing fundamentally important considerations when delivering alcohol, such as how to check for a valid ID and understanding the typical signs of a fraudulent ID, the module in Massachusetts now has specific points based on state law, such as specific forms of ID that are acceptable in the Commonwealth. This module also emphasizes the importance of following the prompts that are provided throughout the Dasher App delivery experience that relate to safe and compliant deliveries, including legal penalties that Dashers may be subject to for delivering alcohol to underage customers.
Streamlined and Penalty-Free Return Process
We’ve also implemented an improved returns process that further encourages and compensates Dashers to return the alcohol to the applicable store if the delivery cannot be completed, such as if the customer is underage. Dashers can easily abandon these undeliverable orders and will be guided step-by-step to return the alcohol to the store. Importantly, Dashers will be paid for the whole trip, including the original pay plus more for the return, meaning Dasher earnings will never be put at risk for complying with the law.
“We strive to offer the most trusted platform for delivering alcohol safely and responsibly,” said Samantha Hogan, Senior Manager of New Business Verticals at DoorDash. “The enhanced features we are introducing will make safety protocols even more comprehensive and help ensure that alcohol is only delivered to those over the age of 21 in Massachusetts as we continue to lead the industry forward.”
We will continue to develop and launch innovative safety features so alcohol deliveries can be responsibly facilitated through the DoorDash platform, all the while reinforcing our commitment to ensuring a safe experience for everyone who uses our platform for alcohol purchases.