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Best practice to eliminate underage alcohol sales

Require employees to take Responsible Beverage Server Training (RBST) classes designed to provide individuals entrusted with the responsibility of serving or selling alcohol with strategies to avoid illegally selling to underage youth or intoxicated patrons. These classes are provided 4 times a year at no cost and can be taken on any computer or smart phone with internet connection

Tactics to eliminate underage alcohol sales

Let’s face it - very few businesses intentionally sell alcohol to minors. It can happen for a number of reasons ranging from innocent employee mistakes to lax policies and procedures. But the more vigilant an employer is about preventing alcohol sales to minors, the less room there is for error. Here are a few tips that may help your business keep out of trouble and focused on following the laws that prevent underage alcohol sales.
  • Post a sign near the register that indicates the appropriate birth date for selling alcohol.
  • Watch for unusual behaviors of the customer. Example: retailers find that when the customer is underage, he or she tends to be over-friendly before they try to buy.
  • When in doubt, ask for additional ID with a picture to compare.
  • When in doubt, ask the customer to sign something to compare signatures.
  • Don’t let minors carry alcohol out of the store, even if they are clearly with their parent(s).
  • Don’t accept expired licenses.
  • If you’re required to wear glasses, be sure you’re wearing them when looking at an ID.
  • Feel the ID for any irregularities that would indicate it’s been tampered with and is fake.
  • Host mandatory bi-annual trainings with your employees to remind them about policies and procedures as they pertain to underage alcohol sales. Require refresher trainings on how to check IDs.
  • Have sticky notes on the register stating “Check every ID, every time. Selling to minors is against the law.”
  • Post the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission under 21 penalty sign.
Source: Oakland County, MI Health Division, Office of Substance Abuse Services.
Frequently asked questions
Tips for training your employees

Tactics to eliminate underage alcohol sales

Nebraska liquor laws pertaining to alcohol merchants

How to check IDs

Responsible alcohol merchant awards (RAMA)

RAMA nomination form

Upcoming Responsible Beverage Server Training (RBST) classes


Alcohol Resource Merchant Guide


Is supported in whole or part, by federal or state funds received from Region 1 Behavioral Health Authority, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services Division of Behavioral Health and Tobacco Free Nebraska Program as a result of the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).


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