Alcohol Compliance Checks were conducted in Durant on May 26 on 10 local businesses that are licensed to sell alcoholic beverages. Out of the 10 checks done, 8 establishments were in compliance, for an 80% compliance rate; not selling to the minors. A compliance check is a tool to identify alcohol establishments that sell alcohol to underage youth. The Durant Police Department, Wichita Mountains Prevention Network (WMPN) and youth volunteers coordinated the checks. The youth volunteers (under the age of 21) assisted law enforcement as underage buyers. The students entered the businesses and attempted to purchase alcoholic beverages.
Alcohol compliance checks are conducted because they have been shown to be an effective strategy in reducing underage drinking, officials say. It is important to reduce underage drinking because we know that it contributes to car crashes, injuries, addiction, vandalism, unwanted sexual encounters, teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and death by alcohol poisoning. Officials say everyone is safer and healthier if alcohol use does not begin until after 21 years of age.
Bryan County was selected as a high need area and now has an Alcohol Enforcement Plan (AEP) in place to reduce adult binge and underage drinking. In an effort to reduce alcohol related consequences in the State of Oklahoma, funding for enforcement activities is being provided to Durant Police Department through a partnership between the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS), the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office (OHSO) and the Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission (ABLE). The funding will provide overtime pay for officers who are participating in Alcohol Enforcement Plan activities.
The Wichita Mountains Prevention Network provides a free Responsible Beverage Sales and Service Training (RBSST) to any establishments that serve 3.2 beer or alcohol. The purpose of this training is to provide establishments with the knowledge and skills to sell and serve alcoholic beverages safely, responsibly, and legally. The goal is to ensure that expectations, liabilities, and legal responsibilities are communicated to all licensees and their employees. Participants will learn how to read IDs, identify fake IDs, and cover administrative, criminal, and civic liabilities. The Responsible Beverage Sales and Services Training is an evidence based program that is proven to reduce and prevent alcohol sales to underage youth. If you are interested in learning more about the RBSST or want to attend/host a training, please call Taylor at (580) 490-9197 ext. 103.
WMPN is grant funded by the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHAS).
Submitted by WMPN.