Marshals assist with Cherokee County alcohol compliance checks

BY STAFF REPORTS
09/26/2012 08:40 AM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Cherokee Nation Marshals took part in alcohol compliance checks conducted at local stores on Aug. 22 in Cherokee County.

Marshals joined officers from the Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission and Northeastern State University officers to ensure convenience stores and other businesses that sell alcohol do not sell to minors.

“Compliance checks have been found to the most effective strategy for enforcing underage drinking laws and decreasing sales of alcohol to underage youth,” Val Dobbins, Tahlequah’s Community Coalition for Compliance coordinator, said. “Checks encourage those who sell alcohol to police themselves. Our experience has been that club and convenience store owners in most cases want to follow the law and compliance checks are a good way to hold them accountable.”

The operation focused on “off-site” retailers such as convenience stores, gas stations and grocery stores. Of the 11 stores that were checked in the Tahlequah and Cookson areas, only one store sold to the underage decoy.

“This is very encouraging. I am happy to know that our area retailers are doing a great job of following the law and keeping alcohol out of the hands of minors,” Ben Barnett, prevention specialist for CN Behavioral Health, said.

A recent Oklahoma Prevention Needs Assessment shows 48 percent of 12th graders at Tahlequah Public Schools reported they drank alcohol in the last 30 days. When asked in the survey the source of their alcohol, 15 percent said they bought it without using fake identification.

CN Behavioral Health Prevention Services urges establishments that sell or offer alcohol to take advantage of free Responsible Beverage Sales and Service Training.

Email bhs-prevention@cherokee.org
for more information or call 918-207-4977.

News

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