The Deterrent Effect of the Undercover Compliance Check Strategy to Reduce the Sale of Alcoholic Beverages to Minorsin North Carolina: A Quasi-Experimental Design.

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Title: The Deterrent Effect of the Undercover Compliance Check Strategy to Reduce the Sale of Alcoholic Beverages to Minorsin North Carolina: A Quasi-Experimental Design.
Author: Chandler, William Carlton
Advisors: Michael L. Vasu, Co-Chair
James E. Swiss, Co-Chair
Dennis M. Daley, Member
Ellen S. Vasu, Member
Abstract: The problem of underaged drinking and efforts to reduce it are examined in this research by: First, assessing the deterrent effect of the widely used undercover compliance check strategy. Secondarily, the predictive and explanatorypower of identified characteristics of both alcohol sales outlets and individual sellers was assessed. Data was collected using a quasi-experimental design employing compliance checks of a proportionally stratified random sample of alcohol sales outlets across North Carolina. The research objectives were to determine if compliance checks deter minor sales and to assess the utility of using identified characteristics to focus enforcement, training and industry staffing to reduce sales. Multivariate modelscombining these characteristics were constructed. They werefound to provide more information in guiding training and scheduling than in enforcement. The major findings were: the limited-sanction compliance checks employed did not have a statistically significant deterrent effect on future sales; minor sales violations are independent of other ABC offenses;a baseline of a 25% sale to minor rate was established; past enforcement does not predict future offending; present training efforts are not significantly associated with reduced sales; citizen complaints are not associated with actual sales; values of the seller-specific variables are difficult to ascertain and provide little enforcement guidance, but do guide training and staffing; ownership variables are associated with lower sales rates; sellers age 16-21 sell at lower rates than other similarly constructed categories; and many of the traditional beliefs of law enforcement were not confirmed. The study concludes recommending: continuing compliance checks; placing less emphasis on investigating complaints and using complaints asa basis to partner with the industry; update training programs; license sellers, with training being a prerequisite; changing the administrative punishment structure to make it more equitable and establishing a minimum age to sell alcohol.
Date: 2001-10-11
Degree: PhD
Discipline: Public Administration
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/4339


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