September 10, 2003

The Federal Trade Commission Report to Congress, Alcohol Marketing and Advertising, cites the importance of a comprehensive approach to preventing underage drinking that addresses youth access to alcohol – both social and commercial sources – and notes that:

During this past year, the many stakeholders in the alcohol control process, including state alcohol agencies, state law enforcement officials, representatives of major retail outlets, and alcohol producers, wholesalers, and distributors, organized under the aegis of the Responsible Retailing Forum (RR Forum) to evaluate what changes are needed to reduce minors’ ability to purchase alcohol in retail outlets. Support is needed for the efforts of organizations, like the RR Forum, that can conduct rigorous field studies of the efficiency of alternative approaches to improving enforcement of minimum age purchase laws.

The RR Forum is a joint project of the Heller School, Brandeis University and the Institute of Science and Public Affairs, Florida State University. The purpose of the RR Forum is to (1) identify and promulgate effective strategies to prevent underage sales of alcohol and other age-restricted products, and (2) engage diverse stakeholders in examinations of policy issues of common concern. At the kick-off meeting of the RR Forum in Orlando, FL, January 8-9, 2003, over 60 stakeholders established priorities and a working agenda for the RR Forum. In response:

  • The RR Forum is developing a portfolio of applied research projects to expand the science of responsible retailing.
  • This Fall, four (4) states will conduct pilot demonstration projects to validate a new integrated Responsible Retailing model drawn from an upcoming federal guidance document prepared for the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, Report on Best Practices of Responsible Retailing. This model addresses responsible retailing at the level of store, community, and state public policy and engages stakeholders in a problem-solving approach (based upon community policing principles) to address the underlying patterns of alcohol acquisition and use by minors in the community.