Children get alcohol in multiple ways. For young children, they usually get alcohol in their home or a friend/relative’s home. As children grow into adolescents, their methods for accessing alcohol increase including through points of purchase. Since most retailers ask for identification, adolescents often get an older friend, relative, or even a passer-by to buy the alcohol for them. At parties, kegs are often available for easy access. Legislation to reduce alcohol availability and accessibility are key environmental prevention strategies in reducing and preventing childhood/underage drinking. Retailers play a vital role by following simple practices.
As an alcohol retailer, you recognize that preventing the selling and serving of alcoholic beverages to underage buyers is a legal requirement for all alcohol outlets. It is also good business; establishments that comply with the law are contributing to the health and well-being of their communities. Other incentives for compliance include the empowerment of employees to maintain control over customers despite customer demands, and reduced insurance premiums for responsible alcohol business practices.
For those establishments that sell or serve alcoholic beverages, two specific prevention strategies have shown favorable results
- Comply with all laws restricting alcohol sales to underage buyers. Establishments that regularly check IDs of all individuals who appear to be younger than 30, and closely supervise sales by employees, have lower rates of underage sales.
- Promote responsible beverage service. Employers who offer training on the importance of checking IDs, how to identify false IDs, how to refuse politely to sell to underaged persons, and about liability issues when sales are made to minors are more likely to be successful in preventing sales to underage drinkers.
For more information on alcohol beverage control in your state, google “alcohol beverage control – state”. Examples include:
For more information on alcohol beverage control, see National Alcohol Beverage Control Association (NABCA), http://www.nabca.org/.
For more information on acohol policies by state, visit Alcohol Policy Information System (APIS): http://www.alcoholpolicy.niaaa.nih.gov/