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Youth Alcohol Enforcement: A Community Project

NCJ Number
FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin Volume: 75 Issue: 6 Dated: June 2006 Pages: 8-11
Jim C. Arnott
Date Published
June 2006
4 pages
This article describes the Youth Alcohol Enforcement project, a community project initiated in Greene County, MO to combat the growing teenage drinking problem.
The county has seen a reduction in the number of liquor stores that sell to minors. The project has been a dedicated and coordinated effort between officers and the community. In August 2002, the Youth Alcohol Enforcement project was implemented with a grant awarded to the Greene County Sheriff’s Department, Springfield Police Department, Greene County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, and Community Partnership of the Ozarks. The grant paid for overtime money for detectives to participate in the project. Volunteers who participated in the investigations received a letter of immunity. Phase one of the program entails conducting proactive enforcement on retail stores and clerks that sell alcohol to minors. If the sale of alcohol occurs, the volunteer teen brings the alcohol to a detective. The officer then issues a summons to the clerk. Another effort involves bar and restaurant compliance checks. If minors are served, detectives issue a summons and seize the alcohol. Another operation places the detectives in stores where they watch clerks identify customers and ensure they sell only to adults. Detectives also patrol frequent party locations in the county to look for gatherings of underage drinkers using unmarked vehicles. In youth-contact stings, detectives sit in undercover vehicles while waiting for minors to approach them to ask the officers to purchase alcohol for them. Officers issue the suspect a summons. All these efforts through the Youth Alcohol Enforcement project in Greene County, MO have proven to be successful. 7 endnotes