The Drug Coalition partners with local law enforcement agencies to regularly monitor local retail establishments to ensure they are not selling alcohol to minors. Compliance Checks are an evidence-based strategy, proven to decrease underage youth access to alcohol.
Four times per year, underage police academy cadets attempt to purchase alcohol from convenience stores, grocery stores and other establishments that serve alcohol. Cadets who look much older than their actual age are not selected to take part in these checks, and they use their personal valid forms of identification. The retailers must ask them for their identification and refuse to sell them alcohol in order to pass the compliance check. If a retail establishment employee sells alcohol to the cadets, the establishment fails the compliance check.
This program has been in existence for four years. In the early years, compliance was consistently in the 40%-50% range. Presently, compliance rates are consistently in the 80% to 100% range. The retail establishments deserve high praise for turning the compliance numbers on their head, and for doing their part in not providing alcohol to minors in Blaine County. The local law enforcement agencies work with The Drug Coalition to plan the checks and to report back on the results. The Idaho State Police administer the admonishment/and or fines to the establishments that do not comply.
To be effective, this strategy must be employed consistently, and be paired with server training opportunities for employees of the retail establishments. The Drug Coalition and local law enforcement agencies are committed to continuing these efforts to decrease the access to alcohol by the youth in Blaine County.