Important Topics

Major Evidence-Based Interventions for Underage Drinking


Social Availability
Nuisance Party Patrols Citation given to host(s) of large, noisy parties. Aim is to reduce number of such parties or for host to keep them small and quiet. • Especially welcome if nearby neighbors are complaining
• Covers teens and young adults
• Citation and adjudication are quick
• In some cases, officers may feel they need a complaint in order to approach a party.
• If participants are young parents may have to be called
Social Host Ordinances Citation given to owner of property where underage youth are drinking More directly targets underage drinking than nuisance party ordinances Often unenforced Often used to prosecute host following an alcohol-related crash of an underage person
Reduce Retail Availability
Decoy Operations (Compliance Checks)
Reducing Underage Alcohol Sales
Server is cited if he or she sells alcohol to an underage youth working with law enforcement. Licensee is also penalized

Standard operating procedures are very well developed

Requires team of enforcement officers and recruiting youths Very effective when done relatively frequently
Purchase Surveys
Reducing Underage Alcohol Sales

Young-looking but legal-age people attempt to buy alcohol to see if they are asked for ID. Can also be a “Reward and Reminder” program: If yes, a small reward is given, if no, a reminder is given.

• No legal consequences, so seen more favorably by some
• Does not require enforcement professionals, so more places can be visited more often
• Can provide local data on retailer compliance
• Volunteers need to be recruited
• May be less effective than enforcement option
• No reason that this can’t be used together with Decoy operation.
• Rewards should not be “permanent” (e.g., stickers on windows)
Retail Serving Practices (onsite and off-site licenses)
Responsible Beverage Service Training Gives servers training on serving laws and some skills to identify and refuse service to minors and intoxicated patrons • On-line training is cost-effective and easily obtained
• Usually supported by retailers and community.
Training alone is unlikely to be effective (but could be an important part of a larger effort) • Can be offered with relatively low effort
• Can include standards beyond meeting state law.
Responsible Beverage Service Enforcement

To enforce state laws prohibiting service to minors and/or intoxicated patrons.

Visible enforcement is more likely to change server/seller behavior than training alone

• ABC has limited enforcement capabilities
• Local enforcement may lack resources to implement
• Specific training required

Most effective when supplemented by local alcohol control measures

Drinking & Driving
Roadside DUI Checkpoints Drivers are selected at random along major arteries and screened and breath tested where indicated Very effective deterrence • Full-size Checkpoints can be labor-intensive
• Requires publicity
• Can create synergy when combined with RBS interventions
• Small-scale version is a good alternative
DUI Saturation Patrols Dedicated team(s) patrol streets looking for DUI • Less labor-intensive
• Often favored since team can be pulled away easily
• Team may be pulled away easily
• Far less visible to public than roadside checkpoints
High visibility of saturation patrols may increase deterrent effect especially as part of a larger DUI strategy