Random compliance checks attempt to prevent underage alcohol purchases

Junior economics major Chris Zino prepares to hand Kangaroo Express employee, Jesse Steele, his ID to purchase a six-pack of beer. Throughout the summer the Watauga Substance Abuse Prevention Collaborative has conducted compliance checks with local business to determine if they will provide underage persons with alcohol. Photo by Paul Heckert  |  The Appalachian
Compliance checks run by the Boone Police Department and Watauga Substance Abuse Prevention found that 81 percent of 83 businesses in Boone did not serve alcohol to minors this year, said Hollie Storie, the community prevention coordinator for the Western Youth Network.

Compliance checks happen when an underage adult, along with an undercover alcohol law enforcement officer, attempt to purchase alcohol. If the business refuses to serve the minor alcohol, they “pass” the compliance check. If they do not ID the student or still serve the student alcohol after viewing the underage ID, they “fail” the compliance check.

“Most alcohol passes through the hands of an adult before it reaches the hands of a youth,” Storie said. “Preventing underage drinking through retail compliance is one of the most effective strategies available.”

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