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outlets in order to apprehend underage persons who attempt to buy alcoholic beverages or adults who attempt to purchase alcohol for minors. The program often includes prominent signs that warn that the establishment is participating in the Cops in Shops program. The participating officers can also use the program to review a retailer’s policies and procedures and identify risky practices. Case studies indicate that Cops in Shops programs can generate a large number of citations, both against minors attempting purchase or using false identification and against adults who are purchasing for minors. The effects of the programs on underage drinking are unknown. Media coverage to increase public awareness again seems to be important for the success of these programs. In light of the greater importance of assuring retailer compliance, enforcement programs that focus on purchasers, including “Cops in Shops” programs, should be used only to supplement compliance check enforcement against retailers, not to displace it.

False Identification

The use of false identification for alcohol purchases is significant although there is a great deal of variability from study to study; see Table 9-4. In one survey, for example, only 7 percent of New York state high school students and 14 percent of Virginia college students indicated that they had

TABLE 9-4 Use of False Identification (ID) to Obtain Alcohol by Young People

Study and Measure

Sample Population

Age

Used False ID (percent)

Durkin et al. (1996);

ever used

Virginia College

18-20

46

Preusser et al. (1995);

ever used

Pennsylvania High School

16-18*

14

New York High School

16-18*

28

Pennsylvania College

18-20

37

New York College

18-20

59

Schwartz et al. (1998); used in past 2 years

Virginia Pediatrician’s Office Mean,

17.2

13

Virginia College Mean,

8.5

14

New York High School Mean,

17.2

7

Southeast Substance Mean, Abuse Programs

16.9

9

*Complete age data not available: age ranges provided for 95 percent of high school students from Pennsylvania and New York combined and 92 percent of college students from the two states combined.



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