Underage Sales Prevention
Tools to Prevent Underage Sales
- “Ask 4 ID” Seller-Server Training Video
- Do Not Sell Tobacco or Alternative Tobacco Products to Minors!
- “Do Not Sell” Stickers and Poster
- Check Virginia Driver’s Licenses!
- ID Checking Guide
- We Card!
- “We Don’t Sell to Underage/Intoxicated” Campaign Posters
Do Not Sell Tobacco or Alternative Tobacco Products to Minors!
Gov. Terry McAuliffe, with unanimous support from the Virginia legislature, has enacted legislation effective July 1, 2014 that will:
- Ban retailers from selling electronic cigarettes and alternative nicotine products to minors; and
- Mandate retailers post a sign stating the sale of these products to any person under 18 years of age is prohibited by law.
More specifically, the proposed legislation, “prohibits the purchase or possession of tobacco products, nicotine vapor products, and alternative nicotine products by minors or sale of tobacco products, nicotine vapor products, and alternative nicotine products to minors.” The legislation also mandates, “the proprietor of every retail establishment which that offers for sale any tobacco product, including but not limited to cigarettes, cigars, and bidis, nicotine vapor product, or alternative nicotine product shall post in a conspicuous manner and place a sign or signs indicating that the sale of tobacco products, including wrappings, nicotine vapor products, or alternative nicotine products to any person under 18 years of age is prohibited by law.”
Virginia ABC recommends licensees use the following verbiage: “The sale of tobacco products, nicotine vapor products or alternative nicotine products to any person under 18 years of age is prohibited by law.”
“Do Not Sell” Stickers Help Prevent Underage Sales
The selling and serving of alcoholic beverages is a business that is subject to higher legal and social accountability than almost any other industry. Do Not Sell stickers are easy-to-read tools that help sellers prevent underage sales when checking IDs.
Similar to the 2013 stickers, this year's stickers have been coated with a smear-resistant varnish to prevent fading, and were created using two different colors -- one color for alcohol and one for tobacco. The bold colors were selected to ensure the dates are clearly visible to both consumers and sellers. To deter underage buyers, ABC suggests placing the stickers where both the seller and buyer can see them, possibly on the countertop or bar where purchases are made.
Although not mandatory, it is extremely important these stickers are displayed in all licensed establishments. Additional stickers, including stickers in Spanish, are available free of charge by contacting ABC's Public Affairs Division at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (804) 213-4418. Please indicate the number of sheets, mailing address and which versions (alcohol, tobacco or both, and English, Spanish or both) are needed.
Another essential ABC compliance tool is the "Ask 4 ID" training video, a four-minute film that helps sellers and servers prevent underage alcohol and tobacco sales by recognizing driver's licenses and other forms of ID. View "Ask 4 ID" at www.youtube.com/vaabc.
Statistics for fiscal year 2013 show the licensee compliance rate for not selling alcoholic beverages to people under the legal drinking age was 86 percent, a slight drop from 87 percent the prior year. As a public safety agency, ABC remains committed to working with the licensee community to reverse this trend by providing information and tools to help prevent underage alcohol sales and maintain compliance.
Check Virginia Driver’s Licenses!
The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has made Virginia driver's licenses easier for checking an ID to determine if a person is underage.
Driver license photos will be taken face-forward, and the entire license will be printed vertically rather than horizontally so clerks and servers will be able to tell quickly and easily if a customer is under 21.
DMV added a feature to help determine if someone is old enough to buy tobacco products. In addition to the "Under 21" wording near the top of the driver's license, DMV also added at the bottom dates showing "Under 18 Until" and "Under 21 Until."
Visit DMV’s website for sample images of driver's licenses and ID cards.
TIP--Under 21 Vertical ID - Near the top of Virginia Driver’s license - has wording “Under 21”, a photo on left near the middle of ID, and at the bottom of the ID - dates showing “Under 18 Until”, “Under 21 Until.”
ID Checking Guide
The Drivers License Guide Co. publishes an annual edition of the ID Checking Guide that helps retailers and law enforcement agencies identify fake IDs. Every valid driver's license format is shown in actual size and full color for all 50 states and
10 Canadian provinces. You can order the guide from their website or by calling 800-227-8827.
The Coalition for Responsible Tobacco Retailing administers the "We Card" program. "We Card" offers training and materials to help retailers prevent underage sales of tobacco. While most of their materials apply to tobacco law, many of their items also apply to the legal age to purchase alcohol.
Visit their website at www.wecard.org to learn more about their efforts and to see their catalog of underage purchase prevention materials.
“We Don’t Sell to Underage/Intoxicated” Campaign Posters
The posters, “We Don’t Sell to Underage” and “We Don’t Sell to Intoxicated Patrons” inform customers that sellers and servers follow ABC laws to protect the businesses they work for, promote public safety and safeguard customers. One poster focuses on denying sales of alcohol and tobacco to underage individuals; the other makes it clear that serving intoxicated patrons is against the law.
Do you have an idea for preventing underage sales? Send us an e-mail at email@example.com or call (804) 977-7440.