Responsible Retailing Forum and Oregon Liquor Control Commission to Test New Strategy to Reduce Underage Alcohol Sales
October 26, 2014 –
The Responsible Retailing Forum (RRForum) and the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) are partnering to examine a new approach to support alcohol beverage licensee compliance with underage sales laws to minors: Mystery Shopper programs.
OLCC and other regulatory and enforcement agencies conduct compliance checks in which the licensee and staff are both cited if underage decoys are sold or served alcohol. Mystery Shop programs use young, legal-age inspectors who attempt to purchase age-restricted products for the sole purpose of providing feedback to licensees on actual staff age-verification conduct. Unlike law enforcement inspections, licensees and staff face no legal penalties for failing to check the ID of someone young enough to trigger an ID check but not under age 21. Mystery Shops have proven effective with large national chains. Researchers working with RRForum hypothesize that they will similarly improve staff performance for independently owned and operated licensees.
To test this, RRForum researchers will partner with the Oregon Liquor Control Commission to conduct 13 monthly Mystery Shops in 24 Oregon communities. In eight communities, licensees will receive on-the-spot feedback and follow-up reports; in eight others, they will receive reports on aggregate.