Our View: Compliment on compliance
March 20, 2010
In 2008, an alcohol compliance screening of Craig businesses revealed a startling fact: 50 percent of the businesses screened failed to ask for identification from underage purchasers.
This begged the question, how readily available was alcohol to minors?
It appears time, awareness and a renewed emphasis on prevention has improved the situation.
During a recent compliance check, 13 Craig liquor and convenience stores passed.
Although the screening was only a sampling of our business community's compliance, it's reassuring nonetheless that businesses selling alcohol are apparently acting responsibly, the Editorial Board believes.
The compliance check was a joint operation between the Moffat and Routt counties chapters of the Grand Futures Prevention Coalition, the Moffat County Sheriff's Office, and the Craig and Steamboat Springs police departments.
It involved those agencies sending in a group of 18- to 20-year-olds to the businesses to try and buy alcohol.
In the last compliance check, businesses were notified ahead of time through a letter that undercover visits were going to take place, and still half of those businesses failed.
This time around, there was no such advance letter, and curiously enough, the businesses all passed.
This indicates that businesses now are taking underage purchasing in our community seriously, and they should be commended for being proactive and civically responsible.
Past studies have shown that some of our youths develop substance abuse problems at early ages and that a perception exists among them that alcohol is easy to get.
Steps needed to be taken to change these trends, and our businesses conducting themselves in the same manner as they did during the compliance check is a great start.
Keeping alcohol completely out of the hands of minors is a noble goal and a worthwhile one to pursue. However, realistically, this is probably impossible.
Somehow, someway, minors are going to get their hands on alcohol if they're determined enough.
But, it seems now that the easiest and most convenient avenue for them to purchase is no longer an option, making it one less front on which our community has to fight to curb youth substance abuse.