Pharos-Tribune

July 8, 2014

THEIR VIEW: Alcohol law compliance improves in Indiana


Pharos-Tribune

---- — It is common these days to see store clerks and servers in establishments that sell liquor by the drink exercise extreme caution when it comes to who they serve.

And that continues to be the trend in Indiana. In the first six months of this year, more than 91 percent of Indiana’s alcoholic beverage establishments were unwilling to sell alcohol to minors during the compliance checks conducted by Indiana State Excise Police officers, said Cpl. Travis Thickstun, public information officer for the Excise Police.

For the first six months of the year, excise officers working with underage youth in the Survey for Alcohol Compliance conducted 7,942 inspections, with 695 failures — a 91.2 percent compliance rate.

Since the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission launched its initiative in 2007, the number of Indiana businesses willing to sell alcoholic beverages to minors has fallen every year. At that time, 33.1 percent of businesses were willing to sell alcohol to minors without checking identification. Rates have fluctuated between 5.2 percent and 8.75 percent noncompliance since that time.

Among the businesses most willing to sell to minors in the first six months of 2014 were civic centers (22.2 percent), hotels (11.3 percent), liquor stores (11.1 percent), restaurants/bars (10.8 percent) and farm wineries (10.7 percent). Least likely to sell alcohol to minors were small breweries (no failures), drug stores (3.5 percent), grocery stores (5.6 percent) and fraternal/social clubs (5.9 percent).

“State Excise Police officers will continue to conduct alcohol-compliance inspections in order to reduce the number of businesses willing to sell alcoholic beverages to minors,” Thickstun said. “As the enforcement division of the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission, the primary mission of the Indiana State Excise Police is to promote public safety by enforcing Indiana’s Alcoholic Beverage Code. While excise officers have the authority to enforce any state law, they focus primarily on alcohol, tobacco and related laws.”

Anyone who has sat through a local Alcohol and Tobacco Commission meeting can tell you that these boards do not take selling alcohol to underage patrons lightly. At the minimum, the establishments face fines for selling to minors. At the maximum, they face losing their licenses, which could cost their livelihood.

Indiana is serious about its alcohol laws and the many programs put on by the state ensure that the laws are followed. We applaud the license holders in our communities for being diligent about not selling alcohol to minors.

— KPC News

THE ISSUE Indiana's alcohol laws THEIR VIEW Indiana is serious about its laws and the many programs put on by the state ensure that the laws are followed.