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OJJDP the Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws Program. STRATEGIES TO REDUCE UNDERAGE ALCOHOL USE: Typology and Brief Overview. The Center for Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws. OR: Why Law Enforcement is involved (and should be involved) in UADE. Tools for Success.

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OJJDP the Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws Program

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OJJDP the Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws Program


The Center for Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws

OR: Why Law Enforcement is involved (and should be involved) in UADE

Tools for Success

Four key elements to remember from this workshop:

  • Answer to the question “ Why bother with the underage drinking issue at all?”

  • EUDL funding, related training and technical assistance are available in your state

  • It is important to link enforcement (public safety) with health care providers (public health), the community and youth

  • Local policies must be addressed to have a long term impact on alcohol consumption by minors

Prevention specialists advocate environmental strategies.




The broader environment is the fundament of alcohol-related harm.


Underage drinking is a $52.8 billion a year problem in the U.S.

Medical Care:$3.7 billion

Total Costof Underage Alcohol Usein the United States in 1998:

$52.8 billion

Work Loss & Other Costs:$10.6 billion

Pain & Lost Quality of Life: $38.5 billion


The Cost of Underage Drinking

in the US

Total Costof Underage Alcohol Usein the United Statesfor 2001:

$61.9 billion

Medical Care:$5.4 billion

Work Loss & Other Costs:$14.9 billion

Pain & Lost Quality of Life: $41.6 billion

PIRE, 2004

Costs of UAD Handouts can be found at www.udetc.org

Effective Strategies:

Expressions of Community Norms

Limitations on Access


Prevention of Impaired Driving

Strategies Based in Schools

We recognize four interlocking strategies to reduce underage drinking.


Limitations on Access

Limitations on access help reduce availability to minors.

  • Enforce minimum agepurchase laws: -aimed at retailers -aimed at youth

  • Strengthen minimum purchase age laws

  • Reducesocial availability

  • Reduce overall community availability of alcohol


Limitations on Access

Enforcement aimed at retailers helps prevent sales to youth.

  • Vigorous use of compliance checks

  • Application of appropriate sanctions to violating merchants

  • Education of merchants regarding techniques and responsibilities

  • Dram shop liability for sales to minors

  • Development of community support for enforcement


Limitations on Access

In Mississippi, compliance check operations have lead to a significant decrease in sales of alcohol to youth under age 21 by merchants:

From 57% to 32% non-compliance of bars near college campuses and from 26% to 19% non-compliance by grocery stores, convenience stores, and drug stores statewide.

Limitations on Access

Enforcement aimed at youth seeks to deter youth from drinking.

  • “Cops in Shops”

  • Use/lose laws and other

    penalties applied to

    violating youth

  • Special police “party


  • Penalties applied to the

    use of false ID’s


Limitations on Access

In Rhode Island, police and retailers are cooperating to reduce the usage of fake IDs by minors in their community.

Limitations on Access

Controls on availability in general reduce youth access to alcohol.

  • Increase price through excise taxes

  • Conditional use permits

    for alcohol outlets

  • Controls on outlet

    location and density

  • Controls on hours of sale


Limitations on Access

In New Mexico, youth advocated for and won a local option to tax alcohol.

Expressions of Community Norms

In North Carolina, advocates won passage of a bill limiting outlet density in their community.

North Carolina

Social availability strategies target youth access to alcohol beyond retail.

  • Enforcement of laws against buying alcohol for minors

  • Sales displays that discourage shoplifting

  • Special enforcement

    campaigns to prevent parties where alcohol is served

  • Keg registration laws

Limitations on Access


Limitations on Access

In Maine, the youth-led “Sticker Shock” campaign puts notices on products, warning adults not to purchase or sell tominors.

Limitations on Access

In Kansas, youth advocates helped pass a keg registration law.


States can close loopholes and enhance enforcement efforts by improving minimum-age drinking laws.

  • Require sellers of alcohol to

    be at least 21 years old

  • Make the manufacture or

    purchase of false identification a crime

  • Prohibit minors from entering


  • Improve laws regarding

    minors in possession of alcohol

Limitations on Access


Limitations on Access

In Rhode Island, police and retailers worked together to apprehend 3 local college students who were charged for manufacturing and transferring fake licenses.

Limitations on Access

In Nebraska, youth helped convince the Legislature to add ‘consumption’ to the minimum-drinking-age laws.

Expressions of “Norms” discourage would-be drinkers and relate their behavior to the community as a whole.

Expressions of Community Norms

  • Controls on alcohol


  • Parent coalitions to

    reduce use

  • Media campaigns, media advocacy, and counter-advertising


Expressions of Community Norms

In Maine, youth activism led the local NBC affiliate to drop liquor advertisements.

Events-focused strategies seek to shape the community norms.

Expressions of Community Norms

  • Prohibition of alcohol

    sponsorship of public


  • Prohibitions/Controls on

    alcohol use at community

    events or in public areas

  • Community sponsorship of alcohol-free activities for youth


Expressions of Community Norms

In Richland County, Wisconsin, community members have successfully petitioned for an alcohol free county fair.

Prevention of Impaired Driving reduces the primary harm of underage drinking.

  • Establishment and

    enforcement of “zero

    tolerance” laws

  • Sobriety checkpoints

  • Responsible beverage


  • Vigorous and well-

    publicized enforcement

    of impaired driving laws

Prevention of Impaired Driving


The 21 drinking age has prevented over 20,000 fatalities from traffic crashes.

Traffic fatalities per 100,000 (under 21) (1977-1999)


Prevention of Impaired Driving

In Texas, youth formally recognized police officers for their DUI/DWI enforcement efforts.

School-based strategies educate youth and get them involved in prevention.

  • School policies regarding

    alcohol use on school

    property or at school-sponsored events

  • Prevention curricula Media literacy programs

Strategies Based in Schools


Communication is a Key Element in Executing Law Enforcement Operations

  • Compliance Check Operations

    • Cops in Shops

    • Shoulder Tap Operations

    • Third Party Transactions

  • Enforcement of Impaired Driving Laws

  • Fake ID Identification

  • Party Prevention and Controlled Dispersal

  • School Based Enforcement Initiatives

  • Sobriety Check Points

Compliance Checks

  • Targets deterring commercial alcohol access to minors

  • Can be used as an Educational or Enforcement tool

  • Assist with community issues

    • Hispanic/Asian community

Cops In Shops

  • Targets favorite retail outlets w/ kids

  • Works to establish rapport w/ police

  • Attacks problem from both ends

    • Underage purchaser

    • Adult provider

  • Allows ALL Law Enforcement to get involved

Third Party Transactions

  • Shoulder Tap operations

    • “Mr. Willya”

Enforcing Underage DWI

  • Mindset change in Law Enforcement

  • General change in practices

    • Time, location, techniques

Fake ID Identification

  • No longer just a kiddie crime!

  • 9-11-01 brought it to the forefront

  • Alcohol, crime, identity theft

Controlled Party Dispersal

  • Systematic, safe and effective

  • Party Patrols

    • Target underage issues

    • “Old way of doing business”

School based Enforcement Program

  • School Resource Officers

  • “Officer Tuesday”

  • DARE program

  • Parental Drug / Alcohol Education

Sobriety Check Points

  • Stationary / Roving Patrols

  • “Safety Check Points”

    • Government grants available

Media Relations

  • I know, I know, the “M” word

  • Work to establish rapport w/ police

  • Involves all from both ends

    • Community support

    • Youth support

  • Allows your message to get out

  • Amplify deterrence / enforcement

Partnership with ALL





See our document, “Strategies to Reduce Underage Alcohol Use” for more information.

  • Available at no cost; call 1-877-335-1287 to order, or

  • Visit our website to download: www.udetc.org


All the Best, Stay Well and Safe

  • Contact information:

    • Chris Bartolotta

      • (860) 706-5603

American Indian Development Associates

The Police Executive Research Forum

National Liquor Law

Enforcement Association

National Crime Prevention Council

Mothers Against Drunk Driving

National Judicial College

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