Why Do We Care About Underage Drinking?
23 stores, bars, and restaurants in East Dundee recently had unannounced enforcement checks from the police department and the ILCC. Six establishments were cited and fined for selling alcohol to minors. In addition, the employees who made the sales were cited and will have to show up for an ILCC adjudication hearing. Why does the law care so much about underage drinking?
Perhaps not surprisingly, underage drinkers are far less likely than legal drinkers to drink responsibly. Most teens who drink do so to get drunk. Underage drinkers generally drink more than legal drinkers in any given drinking occurrence. This increases all the risks associated with drinking. According to the CDC –
- Over 4,300 deaths per year can be attributed to underage drinking.
- Approximately 11% of alcohol consumed in the US is consumed by underage drinkers.
- More than 90% of alcohol consumed by underage drinkers is consumed via binge drinking.
- Even without alcohol, teen drivers are 3 times more likely than experienced drivers to be in a fatal crash.
- 1 in 10 high school teens drinks and drives.
- 1 in 5 teen drivers in fatal crashes had alcohol in their system. (Keep in mind, the fatalities aren’t just the teens themselves.)
And yet –
- It is illegal in every state to sell alcohol to anyone under 21.
- Research has demonstrated that under-21 drinking laws reduce alcohol-related crashes among teens.
- Research has also shown that enforcement of retailer compliance with drinking laws reduces alcohol sales to underage patrons.
So, it’s not surprising that ILCC and local law enforcement periodically check to see whether establishments are selling alcohol to underage drinkers. And, it’s not surprising that when illegal sales take place, ILCC gets involved. By requiring that seller-servers are educated through BASSET, ILCC tries to avoid this scenario.
No rational person – and certainly not one educated by BASSET On The Fly – would intentionally sell alcohol to underage customers. For most seller-servers, the bigger issue is being alert and cautious about inadvertent sales to underage patrons. If your BASSET card is from BASSET On The Fly, you have all the tools you need.
BASSET On The Fly is a leading provider of online BASSET seller-server training and certification licensed by the Illinois Liquor Control Commission (ILCC).Back to Blog