Underage drinking prevention is an increasingly important issue at public events where alcohol is sold or served. Whether minors succumb to alcohol poisoning, drive drunk, or suffer injuries while intoxicated, the consequences of their actions can not only have a lasting effect on their own lives but on their business as well.
Unfortunately, curbing illegal alcohol consumption at your event can be tricky–fake IDs are ubiquitous and increasingly sophisticated. Merchants and vendors must take more effective steps to ensure they are not supplying minors with alcohol as they risk being held liable for damages and incidents occurring while said individual is under the influence.
When a fake ID is discovered, merchants must also take appropriate action to ensure they are complying with local laws and regulations. Although some states allow for fake IDs to be confiscated and turned over to authorities, many do not, and businesses looking to stay on the right side of the law need to know what is appropriate in their area.
Controlling Alcohol Access
Some schools have a policy of keeping alcohol consumption in the stadium in order to increase attendee safety by decreasing the incidents that occur when alcohol is consumed in the parking lot. In setting a policy focused on attendee safety, they are bringing alcohol consumption into an area where they have greater control of under-aged drinking and excessive drinking.
Stopping Underaged Drinkers
Taking a close look at IDs as individuals purchase drinks can curb the more egregious offenders and help stave off underage sales.
Your policy should cover intoxication and the effects it may have on your guests. Ideally, you should prepare for potential over-consumption by providing an abundance of food and keeping alcohol serving spaces separate from other areas. Slowing the flow of drinks can help stave off overt drunkenness as well.
Determine Policy Enforcement
Your policy is only as powerful as the processes in place that help you enforce it. Simply coming up with a few rules is a good first step towards ensuring alcohol sales proceed smoothly. However, you’ll need to take details of the interaction, possible refusals, and confrontation into account as well. Answer the questions:
- What happens if a patron refuses to stop drinking?
- At what point can we remove them from the venue?
- At what point must we call security?
- When can we refuse service? Who makes that call?
Meet with Servers
Monitoring and enforcement of pre-established sales rules can only take you part of the way towards ensuring your event remains completely compliant with local regulations. For best results, it pays to explain to vendors how your alcohol policy works and what might happen if they skirt the rules.
Responsive Beverage Service Training
In some jurisdictions, alcohol servers will soon need more formal training to keep their jobs. Specifically, responsive beverage service training or RBS will be required for individuals to obtain a job serving alcohol in any capacity.
For example, a special online exam is provided by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to certify that applicants have been educated on safe serving practices. By completing such training, individuals can learn how to identify underage customers, discover fake IDs, and spot signs of drunkenness sooner. This can prove especially useful for maintaining compliance with relevant regulations.
Implement ID Check Procedures
IDs must be checked to ensure customers are of legal age to consume alcohol before a transaction takes place. However, a poorly implemented ID checking process or a low-tech approach can have the unintended consequence of costing your company quite a lot in fines for every minor who manages to slip through.
The reality is, fake IDs are no longer easy to spot and many minors have access to services that supply them at low prices. Leveraging a purpose-built solution for ID validation such as Intellicheck’s platform can help to minimize risks without negatively impacting the speed at which you can serve your customers.
Why Use Wristbands?
Wristbands are the old way of knowing who not to serve. They are easily shared and even duplicated. Intellicheck offers a next level solution through the ability to ban people from drinking if they have had too much or for any other reason. This capability alerts other drinking stations when the ID is scanned that that person should not be served.
Ensure Security is Fully Staffed
Avoid under-staffing at all costs, especially where security for your event is concerned. Overwhelmed staff are at a disadvantage in dealing with underage buyers armed with fake IDs.
Security firms specializing in events will usually ask about total attendance numbers upfront for this reason alone–too few team members makes matters that much easier for bad actors looking to take advantage of the situation.
Placing security crew around enclosed drinking spaces and “beer gardens” can help keep your event from devolving into a chaotic mix of unruly drinkers and otherwise unsuspecting attendees.
Stop It Before It Starts
You can make a big difference in your company’s compliance status just by adopting the approaches mentioned above, but the biggest takeaway may be a more focused and meaningful approach to ID validation. That’s where Intellicheck comes in.
Unlike alternative age verification methods, Intellicheck’s ID validation system supplies your team with advanced verification results at sub-second speeds. Parse ID security features to prove the document itself is real and cross-reference the image with the person in front of you without slowing down your sales processes. It can even keep track of people who have been declined a drink at one stand, and go from stand to stand to see if they can get another drink.
Our clients use our mobile and browser-based apps for age verification everywhere from concessions, to bars, to dispensaries, delivery companies, and event law enforcement. Our easy-to-use mobile app and fast transaction speed make an ID check with Intellicheck take less than a second. Our 99.9% accuracy in correctly identifying real and fake IDs means that Intellicheck provides a level of security and compliance higher than any alternative on the market.