Responsible Retailing Forum Receives NIAAA Research Award to Develop Sustainable RR Systems

October 1, 2012

RRF Field Services LLC─the research and technical services arm of the Responsible Retailing Forum (“RRF”)─has been awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to evaluate a new model to support retailer compliance with underage alcohol sales laws. The new model, derived from a federal guidance document, Report on Best Practices for Responsible Retailing, provides licensees with assistance in assessing current Responsible Retailing practices and implementing Best Practices for on-premises serving establishments and off-premises retailers. The model includes mystery shopper feedback to licensees on actual staff performance when young, legal-age inspectors (age 21 – 24) ask to purchase or be served an alcoholic beverage. Individual licensee mystery shop results remain confidential; but aggregate results are shared with all key stakeholders throughout the community.

Working with the California Alcoholic Beverages Commission, the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission, the Texas Department of Liquor Control and the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, the study will select 2 pairs of demographically matched communities in each state and identify 15 retailers and 15 serving establishments in each community. Employing a randomized cross-over design, one community will receive the RR program while the other serves as a control. After nine months, the control community will receive the program while the effects of decay are studied after the program is discontinued in the original community.

State regulators and other stakeholders will assist RRF in adapting the model to the laws and practices of that state, in assessing the program and in considering whether and how the model could be sustained.

RRF is a 501 (C) 3 non-profit organization whose dual objectives are (1) to identify and promulgate Best Practices, and (2) to engage public and private stakeholders in policy examinations. Brad S. Krevor, Ph.D, RRF’s president, is the Principal Investigator for the SBIR award. Joel Grube, Ph.D, director of the Prevention Research Center, PIRE, will oversee the evaluation. Professors William DeJong, Ph.D, Boston University School of Public Health, and Jeffrey Prottas, Ph.D, Brandeis University, are project consultants.