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Alcohol Beverage Control Enforcement: Legal Research Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2003
38 pages
This report analyzes variations among U.S. States in 12 key legal policies that pertain to underage drinking and drinking to intoxication.
The key areas examined are the purchase of alcohol by minors, attempted purchase of alcohol by minors, the possession of alcohol by minors, the consumption of alcohol by minors, the use of false ID cards, the furnishing of alcohol to minors, furnishing alcohol to intoxicated individuals, responsible beverage service, keg registration, false and misleading advertising, advertising that targets minors, and limitations on "happy hours" and drink specials. A chart compares each policy for each of the 50 States and the District of Columbia. Selected variables and exceptions related to each policy are indicated. An introductory section for each policy defines the variables and exceptions and briefly analyzes the policy, including noteworthy characteristics or variations and the relationship of the policy to other policies in the report. The information applies as of January 1, 2003. The analysis is based on a review of State statutes and regulations. The charts do not include regulations developed under formal or informal administrative decisionmaking by alcohol beverage control agencies. The analysis focuses exclusively on State legislation. Among the key findings from the analysis are that four States prohibit the purchase of alcohol by a minor only if the minor makes a false statement or representation of age in order to purchase the alcohol. Ten States allow minors to possess alcohol in any private location, including any private residence or venue. Three States do not prohibit the furnishing of alcohol to intoxicated individuals. Thirteen States require some type of mandatory Responsible Beverage Service, and 11 States provide incentives for retailers to participate. A keg registration law exists in 22 States, and 25 States prohibit alcohol advertising that targets minors.