Underage Drinking: Success Stories



Drinking: Success Stories



Georgia – February 2004



of Problem










With support from the OJJDP

Enforcing the Underage Drinking Laws Initiative, community organizations, enforcement agencies, youth, and other concerned citizens are working collaboratively to

change local ordinances and enforcement practices.


Greater Cooperation Results in
Increased Enforcement & Compliance.

Georgia’s problem of illegal

alcohol sales to minors in the mid-1990’s was marked by an extremely

high rate of noncompliance among alcohol-licensed establishments. Alarmed

by this reality, the State was quick to respond.

In the fall of 1997,

the Department of Revenue – Alcohol & Tobacco Division (DOR-ATD)

partnered with volunteers and staff from the Georgia Alcohol Policy Partnership

(GAPP) to develop a plan for conducting compliance investigations throughout

the State. GAPP agreed to conduct Statewide public awareness efforts and

assist with the recruitment and training of youth enforcement teams. Georgia

DOR-ATD agents implemented a plan to increase compliance investigations

systematically over time and to develop an initial framework for what

is now the Underage Alcohol Investigative and Compliance Operations Group.

Initially, the group

conducted approximately 500 compliance checks. Of the alcohol-licensed

establishments investigated, more than half were found noncompliant with

the State’s minimum purchase age law.

Over the past three

years, the number and frequency of investigations have increased, as have

locally coordinated investigations. This has resulted in more than 6,000

compliance checks conducted in the State and a reduction in illegal sales

by almost 50 percent. In 2003, the overall rate of compliance among alcohol-licensed

establishments in Georgia was 78 percent, although compliance rates in

several communities were even higher!

Law enforcement, community

leaders, and youth all play an important role in the State’s successful

efforts. Youth participate in compliance checks, lead advocacy efforts,

and are key spokespersons in educational and media campaigns designed

to inform lawmakers about the problems of underage drinking and youth

access to alcohol. As a result, strong support exists for Georgia’s

law enforcement efforts to reduce illegal sales of alcohol to minors.

Community leaders,

Georgia PTA, MADD Georgia, Family Connection of Georgia, and community-based

coordinators of local efforts to reduce underage drinking provide critical

influence by encouraging other local and State organizations to support

alcohol policy and enforcement strategies that reduce youth access to


For more information, contact

Clarise Jackson-Hall ? Children & Youth Coordinating Council @


Ronald Johnson ? GA Dept of Revenue ? Alcohol & Tobacco Division @

(404) 656-4252;

Joel Hardy ? GA Alcohol Policy Partnership @ (770)239-7442; or

Cathy Finck ? Cobb Underage Drinking Task Force @ (770)640-8862.


| Training

| Events

| Links

| Publications

| State Contacts

Medical Reviewer