The Responsible Retailing Forum ("RRF") has developed a new model to reduce sales of alcohol products to minors. Derived from recommendations contained in the Report on Best Practices for Responsible Retailing, prepared as a federal guidance document for the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention in 2002, the model employs a quality improvement approach to assist retailers improve age-verification. In test communities, the model has shown significant promise as a way of improving ID-checking and underage sales refusal. Phase I focus groups indicated that alcohol regulators, retailers, their associations and suppliers all support the RRF model for a community-based RR system providing licensees with RR resources and feedback on actual staff performance in checking IDs, and a cooperative, problem-solving approach to underage alcohol sales and use. The proposed study will employ a randomized cross-over design to examine the effects of the RRF model upon ID-checking behavior by alcohol beverage licensees. The project will: 7 Identify 2 pairs of demographically matched communities in each of 4 states: CA, MA, NM, WI 7 Identify and randomly select alcohol licensees in each community and recruit 15 on-premise licensees (that serve alcohol on-premises) and 15 off-premise licensees (that sell for off-premises consumption) 7 Conduct pretest and posttest surveys with licensees and public agency stakeholders on attitudes and perceptions on underage alcohol sales and use and stakeholder roles in their communities 7 Conduct 3 monthly Mystery Shop inspections by young, legal-age inspectors who attempt to purchase an alcohol beverage to establish baseline ID-checking performance 7 Randomly assign one community in each pair to receive the 6-month intervention immediately (Cohort 1) and the other to a delayed intervention 6 months later (Cohort 2). During the first intervention period, outlets in Cohort 1 will receive the retailer assistance intervention, including monthly Mystery Shop visits with feedback after each visit. Outlets in Cohort 2 will receive Mystery Shop visits during intervention period 1 to document ID-checking rates but will not receive feedback or any assistance 7 During the second intervention period, conduct the retailer assistance intervention with outlets in Cohort 2. Cohort 1 outlets will no longer receive any other assistance during this time but unreported Mystery Shop inspections will continue in order to investigate decay of effects. We expect ID-checking rates will increase significantly in Cohort 1 communities, relative to Cohort 2, during the first 6 months of the intervention. ID-checking rates in Cohort 2 will similarly increase once the RR intervention is implemented in those communities in months 7-12. We also expect ID-checking rates to gradually decay to baseline levels in Cohort 1 communities during months 7-12. This finding will help make the business case to retailers for a long-term commitment to the RRF model.

Public Health Relevance

Responsible Retailing Program for Alcohol Retailers. This project will examine the impact of a new model of Responsible Retailing (RR) derived from the recommendations of a 2002 report to the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, Report on Best Practices for Responsible Retailing. The model shows retailers specific measures they can adopt to improve their age-verification practices. This project will enable the applicant, RRF Field Services LLC, to develop RR systems for cities and states intended to reduce underage sales by alcohol beverage licensees and to link licensees, regulators and law enforcement in a cooperative, problem-solving approach to underage alcohol access. .

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Small Business Innovation Research Grants (SBIR) - Phase II (R44)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-HDM-K (10))
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Bloss, Gregory
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Rrf Field Services, LLC
United States
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