FREEPORT (WIFR) -- Over the next several months, area law enforcement agencies will be conducting compliance checks among businesses licensed to sell alcoholic beverages in the Freeport community.
Retailers were previously notified by letter about the upcoming compliance checks and a retailer training – Beverage Alcohol Sellers and Servers Education Training (BASSET) – was offered to all retailers in 2013 on how to serve alcohol responsibly.
Law enforcement will follow standard procedures for conducting alcohol compliance checks. Underage youth will work with law enforcement to attempt to make an illegal purchase of alcohol. Area businesses that will be checked will hopefully refuse to sell to underage buyers who are working with law enforcement.
Compliance checks are conducted because research has shown that they are an effective strategy in reducing underage drinking. We want to reduce underage drinking because we know it contributes to car crashes, injuries, unwanted sexual encounters, vandalism, theft, addiction, sexually transmitted diseases, and death by alcohol poisoning. By themselves, compliance checks will not eliminate youth access to alcohol. But when combined with a comprehensive community approach, they can help keep alcohol out of the hands of youth.
During this time period, Party Patrols also will be conducted as a concerted effort in our community to seek out/monitor areas where parties and/or underage drinking may occur and focus on times or events at which underage drinking is prone to occur.
The FHN Family Counseling Center’s Partnership for Success grant is implementing strategies such as alcohol compliance checks and party patrols in partnership with the Illinois State Police and the Freeport Police Department in an effort to reduce underage drinking in the Freeport community.
For more information, contact Sharon Mockridge, community educator at FHN Family Counseling Center, at 815-599-7344.