Minor stings boost Liquor Law compliance
Underage drinking has become a growing problem among youth which has lead to many tragic and costly consequences affecting our entire State and our local community in particular. In a joint effort, the local police departments within Brazoria County, Sheriff’s Office, and the Brazoria County Community Coalition will be working together in conducting “compliance checks” throughout our community to encourage responsible alcohol sales in accordance with the laws of our state.
What is a compliance check? A compliance check is a tool for law enforcement to identify retail alcohol establishments that sell alcohol to underage youth. During the next months, youth volunteers, age 16-18, will attempt to buy alcoholic beverages at local establishments under police supervision. Any employee who sells alcohol to underage buyers will be referred to the prosecuting attorney for criminal prosecution, and the business will be referred to the licensing authority for administrative action. In addition, the results of the compliance checks become public data and may be obtained and publicized by the news media.
Law enforcement officers conduct compliance checks because they are an effective strategy in reducing underage drinking. In Texas, studies have proven that the number of establishments that would sell alcohol to minors has reduced from 35% to 20% as a result of enforcement checks. We know that underage drinking contributes to car crashes, injuries, addiction, vandalism, sexual assault, teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and death by alcohol poisoning. By themselves, compliance checks will not eliminate youth access to alcohol, but when combined with a comprehensive community approach can help keep alcohol out of the hands of kids.
“I support the Brazoria County Community Coalition in its mission to prevent the harmful consequences that underage drinking and other substance abuse has on our youth in our community. I applaud their leadership and initiative in tackling this problem and encourage parents, law enforcement, school personnel, business and faith-community leaders to join us. ” said former Chief Pynes.
Most alcohol retailers want to act responsibly and comply with the law. Employers are urged to train employees in conducting thorough ID checks every time they sell or serve alcohol to any individual who looks to be 35 years of age or younger. If you need additional information about training materials and responsible beverage sales, please contact the Brazoria County Community Coalition. The Coalition believes through continued education, community collaboration, policy development, and training that the community will see a reduction in youth access to alcohol in our county.
For more information about the Brazoria County Community Coalition’s efforts, contact Coordinator, Carie Fletcher at 979-215-6990. The Coalition is a department of the Bay Area Council on Drugs and Alcohol (BACODA). BACODA has provided comprehensive prevention services for over thirty years.