Underage Drinking: Success Stories

         

Underage

Drinking: Success Stories

 

 

Mississippi  –  August

6, 2001

 

Scope

of Problem

Prevention

Strategies

Learn

More

Success

Stories

Selected

Resources

 

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.

 

 

Where

There?s A Will:

Mississippi AG

Office

Blankets

State

with Compliance Checks

In

1998, the Mississippi State Legislature took away the Alcohol Beverage

Control?s power to conduct compliance

checks at locations that sold beer such as convenience stores.

The development came as a blow to an agency that was already

struggling to conduct compliance checks with a staff of only part-time

inspectors. Similarly,

prevention advocates were disturbed by the change, recognizing that

compliance checks conducted at state liquor stores that only sell wine and

distilled spirits would probably not produce a realistic picture of the

ease with which youth are able to purchase alcoholic beverages in

Mississippi.

Fortunately,

the State?s Office of the Attorney General considered retail sales of

alcohol purchases to minors a serious problem and stepped in to address

the issue. Between

May 1, 2000

and

April 30, 2001

, the Attorney

General?s Office working in cooperation with local law enforcement

agencies around the state completed 7228 compliance checks.

Compliance checks are

conducted throughout the year and as of February, just under 5400 beer

compliance

checks were conducted in

grocery, convenience, and drug stores statewide. 

Since last spring, the average noncompliance rate for the state has

decreased from 26 percent in May to 17 percent in January. 

The average noncompliance rate for the nine-month period was 19

percent.

In addition, the agency recently began conducting alcohol compliance

checks in bars located in college areas. The second round of compliance checks conducted in January 2001

produced a 32 percent buy-rate. While

this rate is high, it did indicate a decrease. The buy-rate in September 2000 was 57 percent.

Compliance checks were conducted in

Cleveland, Hattiesburg, Jackson, Jefferson/Claiborne, Oxford and Starkville Counties. Rates for these counties

ranged from 83 percent (Jefferson/Claiborne) to 0 percent (Hattiesburg).

Mississippi imposes graduated penalties on permit holders whose establishments are found

selling alcohol to minors. Fines

range from up to $500 for a first offense to up to $5000 for a third

offense. License suspension

periods range from three months for a first offense to one year for a

third offense.

For more information contact: Bill Perrett, EUDL State Coordinator, Mississippi

Department of Public Safety, (601) 987-4990.

 

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Underage Drinking: Success Stories
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