Montgomery County’s Department of Liquor Control (DLC) recently released its “Alcohol Compliance Check Program Report for FY 2010-11.” The annual report focuses on the results of efforts to reduce the availability of alcohol to anyone under 21 years of age. This year’s report validates that outreach programs have proven successful and compliance rates in the county have remained steady the past couple of years. When tested, about eight out of 10 licensed facilities refused service to the underage volunteer.
During a compliance check, young people under the age of 21 are sent into licensed establishments and/or stores to attempt to purchase alcohol with an underage identification. The individuals use their own identification and are not allowed to have facial hair, wear excessive makeup or talk on the phone while making a purchase.
“Following an impressive nine percent increase in compliance from 2009 to 2010, the rate now seems to be leveling off,” said DLC Division Chief Kathie Durbin. “However, we will continue our education and outreach efforts as we strive for increased compliance.”
The compliance check program is a collaboration between DLC alcohol enforcement agents, the Police Department, Sheriff’s Office, State’s Attorney’s Office and trained high school students. The team has an annual target to check at least 400 businesses a year. There are approximately 1,000 licensed establishments (on and off sale) in the County.
“Although we are very pleased with last year’s compliance results, the police department will continue to work closely with the DLC to conduct compliance checks of establishments that sell alcohol in our county,” said Police Chief Thomas Manger. “Our concentrated efforts will help ensure that access to alcohol by anyone under 21 years of age continues to be difficult for years to come.”
DLC offers free alcohol regulatory education and regulation training (A.L.E.R.T.) twice a month as a resource for businesses licensed to sell alcohol. Stressing the importance of checking identification is an essential component of this educational effort.
To view the report online, go to www.montgomerycountymd.gov/dlc, and click on Licensure, Regulation and Education, then click Regulations. For program information, call Emily DeTitta in DLC’s Outreach Office, at 240-777-1904 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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