Best Practices

Reducing Accessibility

Eliminating the direct sales of alcohol to minors is not enough. There are plenty of other ways for minors to get alcohol, whether through parents, older friends, siblings, or any location where a party or similar activity is happening. We need to have steps in place to cut off these other avenues and help ensure the safety of our children.

Strategies for Reducing Third-Party Transactions of Alcohol to
Underage Youth

Minors are four times more likely to get their alcohol from someone over the age of 21 than from a commercial source. This document explains how we can limit those activities through enforcement of ordinances, surveillance of suspected trouble spots, tips to find these spots, and outreach to the communities.



Effective Enforcement Fact Sheets

Whether the alcohol comes from a parent, a friend, or even from across the border, the first step in controlling underage drinking is proper enforcement of the laws and regulations governing it. These fact sheets detail some of the programs that have proven effective in this cause.

Reducing Accessibility Fact Sheets

There is only so much that law enforcement can do to curb the problem of underage drinking. By instituting programs that seek to limit interest in or access to alcohol, schools and parents may be able to lower the potential for underage drinking to take place. These fact sheets explain some of those programs.

Commercial Access Fact Sheet

Getting alcohol from a restaurant or retail establishment should be impossible for an underage drinker. Unfortunately, sometimes it isn’t. Community involvement and pressure have proven to be the best methods for stopping sales to minors. This program tells how that works.

Commercial Access

Since bars, restaurants, and liquor stores are the first line of defense against underage drinking, we have put a number of safeguards into effect to ensure that minors have limited access to alcohol within these establishments. We have enacted training programs to inform both the sellers and servers of alcohol in how to deal with attempts by underage individuals to purchase or imbibe alcohol on their premises, and we have established policies for dealing with establishments that allow this activity to take place.

Responsible Alcohol Management Program (R.A.M.P.)

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) offers a certification program to all liquor-licensed establishments and their employees. This program provides vital training for discouraging high-risk and underage drinking on a commercial level. Among other things, individuals are taught how to spot fake IDs, how to identify problem customers, and how to keep those problems from occurring in the first place. To find out more about this program please visit this website:

http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/ramp/17516

Project Sticker Shock

The PLCB recognizes one simple fact in the fight against underage drinking: “It is illegal to buy or provide alcohol for anyone under the age of 21.” That’s why we’ve created Project Sticker Shock. Through this program, student organizations are able to target and better inform adults to help end underage drinking in their communities. A Leadership Action Guide for Project Sticker Shock may be obtained by calling the PLCB’s Bureau of Alcohol Education at 1-800-453-PLCB or sending an email to [email protected], or may be downloaded by clicking the Project Sticker Shock PDF below.

Zero Tolerance Policy

Even though we’ve moved towards a more market-driven approach in our retail operations, the PLCB still holds firm to a zero tolerance policy on sales to minors and intoxicated adults. Our store employees are well trained in the laws pertaining to these attempts to purchase and have learned the skills necessary to recognize proper identification, evaluate age characteristics, and detect visible signs of intoxication. Our store employees also account for a large percentage of the volunteers participating in our alcohol education outreach programs.

The Wine and Spirits Stores are used as a network to provide alcohol education materials to consumers and licensees. In addition, the operating hours of the stores hold closely to those of surrounding businesses and none of them are open past 10 PM, emphasizing the Bureau’s commitment to responsible service for all citizens of Pennsylvania.