This report examines measures that can be taken by licensed alcohol serving establishments to prevent unlawful alcohol sales, including sales to minors, to individuals who might in turn furnish alcohol to minors (3rd-party sales), or to intoxicated individuals, and to guard against situations that may pose a risk to customers or staff. These collective measures, what is termed "Responsible Retailing," aim to protect the health and safety of customers, staff and the community, while reducing licensee and employee risk to issues such as penalties for unlawful sales, or legal liabilities associated with alcohol-related injuries.
The RRF’s Retailer Work Group—consisting of national retail chains, training organizations and mystery shop vendors; state regulators and attorneys general; producers; and researchers—has identified recommended practices to reduce underage sales and service of alcohol by off-premises licensees. Every responsible retailer should adopt these practices. The list is not all-inclusive and retailers may engage in additional practices to reduce illegal underage sales.
The RRF has partnered with state regulatory / enforcement agencies and retail associations to operationalize the “enforcement + assistance” model. In Birmingham, AL, Des Moines, IA, Springfield, MO and Santa Fe, NM between September 2003 and May 2005, the RRF and its state partners pilot-tested a quality improvement tool to assist retailers to identify and implement Best Practices identified in the CSAP Report and a Mystery Shopper Reporting System to provide retailers with detailed feedback on actual store conduct as a quality assurance tool. In late 2005, RRF began a community roll-out of the new RR model, starting in Albuquerque, NM, with two additional study sites—Iowa City, IA and Waltham, MA—launched in 2006. A report of this community roll-out of what is now called the RR Systems Project shows the strong potential of this model for improving age-verification conduct.
STOP Act Report now available: The Alcohol Policy Work Group has produced an examination, pre-sented to SAMHSA, of the implementation issues relating to the recently enacted federal legislation, the STOP Act.
Preventing Illegal Alcoholic Beverage and Tobacco Sales to Minors Through Electronic Age Verification Devices: A Field Effectiveness Study.
In 2005, an ad hoc Policy Work Group examined zero tolerance polices for employees who sell to, or serve, a minor as well as appropriate dispositions for individuals and licensees.
The Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have commissioned a federal guidance document for retailers, enforcement agencies, and public health agencies on preventing underage sales.
In 2001, a team of national experts produced a federal guidance document, Report on Best Practices for Responsible Retailing, reflecting the experiences and insights of retailers, alcohol control boards and other state regulatory and enforcement agencies ("R-E agencies"), state attorneys general, and academic researchers. The Best Practices identified in that report have been further developed by the Responsible Retailing Forum into an "Integrated Responsible Retailing" model.