In the first six months of this year, more than 91 percent of Indiana’s alcoholic beverage establishments were unwilling to sell alcohol to minors during the compliance checks conducted by Indiana State Excise Police officers, said Cpl. Travis Thickstun, ISEP public information officer, Indianapolis.
From Jan. 1-June 30, excise officers working with underage youth in the Survey for Alcohol Compliance conducted 7,942 inspections, with 695 failures – a 91.2 percent compliance rate.
Since the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission launched its initiative in April 2007, the number of Indiana businesses willing to sell alcoholic beverages to minors has fallen every year. At that time, 33.1 percent were willing to sell alcohol to minors without checking identification. Rates have fluctuated between 5.2-8.75 percent noncompliance since that time.
Among the businesses most willing to sell to minors in the first six months of 2014 were civic centers (22.2 percent), hotels (11.3 percent), liquor stores (11.1 percent), restaurants/bars (10.8 percent) and farm wineries (10.7 percent).
Least likely to sell alcohol to minors were small breweries (no failures), drug stores (3.5 percent), grocery stores (5.6 percent) and fraternal/social clubs (5.9 percent).
Thickstun added, “State Excise Police officers will continue to conduct alcohol-compliance inspections in order to reduce the number of businesses willing to sell alcoholic beverages to minors.”
As the enforcement division of the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission, the primary mission of the Indiana State Excise Police is to promote public safety by enforcing Indiana’s Alcoholic Beverage Code. While excise officers have the authority to enforce any state law, they focus primarily on alcohol, tobacco and related laws.