Compliance Checks

Routine, comprehensive compliance checks are one of the most effective ways to deter commercial alcohol sales to minors. They involve the use of underage buyers by law enforcement agencies to test retailers' compliance with laws prohibiting the sale of alcohol to minors. A comprehensive program consists of the following components:

  • Communication throughout the year with retailers to educate owners, sellers/servers and managers 
  • Opportunity for retailers to participate in responsible sales and service programs 
  • Community outreach and media advocacy to publicize the program's design, purpose and results 
  • Random selection of outlets to be included in the initial wave of the program (100-percent coverage if feasible)
  • Follow-up communication informing each retailer of the results
  • Repeated notification to licensees of the ongoing compliance check operations and repeated waves of checks over set periods of time (two or more times per year), which may include targeted checks of retailers identified as violators in previous waves (Fitch, Toomey, Gehan, & Wagenaar, 1998; Grube, 1997).

Beginning in 1997, Project Extra Mile has helped coordinate multi-agency collaborative enforcement efforts, including compliance checks, all across our state. Project Extra Mile continues to coordinate these efforts and provides technical assistance to both coalition partners and local law enforcement agencies statewide through individual consultations and trainings for law enforcement and community leaders. 

Anywhere compliance checks are conducted, they help communities determine the extent of the problem of sales to minors as a source of youth access to alcohol. They also can be used as a tool in measuring the impact of prevention efforts within a community. Many of the youth who participate in compliance checks are members of community youth groups and are committed to making a difference in the fight against underage alcohol use.

The community partners involved with compliance checks often work with local law enforcement agencies to increase support for enforcement efforts. Additionally, community coalitions usually work with local schools and youth organizations to recruit students who may be interested in joining local youth groups that work with law enforcement officers who conduct compliance checks.

Under “Pages in this Section” to the right, you will find the results from compliance checks coordinated by Project Extra Mile since December 2013. These lists consist of multiple compliance check operations over the course of one year, and they will continue to be updated as these operations are carried out by our law enforcement partners. For more information, please click “Compliance Check Results” to the right.