Columbus hit with low alcohol compliance rate report

September 30, 2018

Columbus had a low-scoring performance in the latest round of alcohol compliance checks performed by 2018 Tobacco Free Platte County and Back to BASICs coalitions, in cooperation with the Columbus Police Department.

On Sept. 22, four out of the nine businesses checked sold alcohol to a minor, resulting in a compliance rate of 44 percent. That’s a significant drop from a June 29 compliance check in which an 86-percent compliance rate among 14 businesses was reported. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identifies enforcement of compliance checks as a best practice for comprehensive tobacco and alcohol control. For these checks, cooperating minors use their own identification and make no attempt to look over the legal age of 21.

“Nebraska law prohibits the sale of tobacco and alcohol to minors; compliance with the law is an important measure in preventing kids from having access to tobacco and alcohol,” said the coalition’s coordinator, Jamie Rodriguez, in a prepared statement.

The coalition does not name the businesses that sold alcohol to minors to prevent giving youths a list of places to go to make illegal purchases, Rodriguez previously told The Telegram. But, the organization applauded Hy-Vee, Smoker’s Outlet, Sam’s General Store, Kum & Go and Off Campus for being compliant and their continued efforts in keeping alcohol out of the hands of our underage youth.

Rodriguez previously said the compliance checks are conducted on a quarterly basis, with the goal of getting to every retail business at least once a year.

Back to BASICs/Tobacco Free Platte County is a collaborative effort which works to keep youth from engaging in activities which contain tobacco, drugs and alcohol. The public is encouraged to be involved in prevention efforts within the community. To see how you can help, or find out details on the next coalition meeting in Platte County, call 402-563-9656. This organization is sponsored by East Central District Health Department with funds provided by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services/Tobacco Free Nebraska Program and Region 4 Behavioral Health System.

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