Alcohol purchase surveys, unlike compliance checks, can be performed without the assistance of law enforcement. However, the youthful-looking buyer attempting the purchase must be at least 21 years of age. Purchase surveys allow community coalitions to:
1) assess community needs and collect data on which retail outlets in the community are most likely to sell to underage youth;
2) raise community awareness and build support for efforts to reduce sales to minors;
3) inform merchants that they are being monitored and motivate them to change practices if noncompliant;
4) inform law enforcement officials with important information; and,
5) measure the impact of prevention strategies so that communities can assess the effectiveness of the strategies they implement.
Alcohol Purchase Survey Guidelines
Unlike full effect compliance checks, alcohol purchase surveys are not a law enforcement activity. Alcohol purchase surveys are conducted by trained citizens following PIRE's guidelines, and, for the purposes of this letter of invitation, the more detailed guidelines outlined below. The results of the alcohol purchase surveys should be shared with law enforcement and the local media.
Conducting Alcohol Purchase Surveys:
· Age Testing of buyers
o All buyers for Alcohol Purchase Surveys must be over the age of 21 but "look" younger. The specifications for age testing can be found on the UDETC website (under measuring and monitoring)
A TRY community coalition member will return to every retail establishment surveyed to inform store management that the community is concerned about the issue of underage drinking and is conducting alcohol purchase surveys as a way to monitor alcohol sales practices. At that time, the community collaborative will be responsible for sharing with store management the result of their alcohol purchase survey and the availability of responsible alcohol sales training for their employees.
In the state of North Carolina, there are two publicly available, no-cost responsible sales programs:
o The Be a Responsible Seller (BARS) program is a statewide training program for licensed alcoholic beverage establishments that is conducted on a monthly basis by North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement (NC ALE) officers. The program covers laws regulating alcohol, seller responsibilities, penalties for violators, and how to detect fake identifications. More information about the BARS program and other programs offered by NC ALE is available at its website
o The Education and Training Division of the North Carolina Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (ABC) conducts the Responsible Alcohol Seller Program (RASP) for both on-premise and off-premise business owners, managers and employees. The training program lasts two hours and incorporates hands-on training using "fatal vision" goggles, video and open discussion. More information about this program and training opportunities can be found at the ABC's website
TRY has reserved space for this training to occur monthly by ALE Officers