MANY, LA-The Town of Many Police Department (MPD) routinely conducted compliance checks prior to the Covid-19 restrictions which are now beginning to lift. A compliance check is a tool used by Law Enforcement Agencies to identify tobacco and/or alcohol establishments that sell to underage youth and to increase retailer compliance with Louisiana laws prohibiting sales to minors.
On July 2nd, the MPD team conducted 15 compliance checks at retailers in town and found that ten of the fifteen establishments sold to a minor who was working with the Department. After gathering the evidence, officers returned to the ten establishments and issued citations to the offending vendors.
Police Chief Cheryl Wooley stated, “This is not a “gotcha” thing because we want to assist our establishments to work together to keep our youth safe, sober and successful.” Chief Wooley and Assistant Chief Cook related that as Covid restrictions are being lifted, they will continue to work toward limiting access to underage drinkers in our town and hope to continue to collaborate with the Sheriff’s Department in conducting compliance checks parish wide. Compliance checks will continue throughout the year particularly around holidays, Prom Nights, and Graduation.
Funding for the overtime hours for police officers participating in this compliance check was provided by the Sabine Prevention Alliance whose mission is to increase awareness about the health, safety, legal and social consequences of underage drinking. The 2018 Caring Communities data indicates that 45.2% of students surveyed thought that they would not get caught drinking and driving. This represents an 8.3% rate above the State average. The 2021 Louisiana Highway Safety Data shows a 350% increase from 2019 to 2021 regarding alcohol related auto accidents involving teens in Sabine Parish.
Responsible Vendor/Server training is provided free of charge by the Sabine Prevention Alliance. This in-person training is conducted by the Louisiana Alcohol Compliance Trainers who provide excellent evidence-based information on all laws related to sale of tobacco and alcohol products to youth under the age of 21. Those completing the three-hour workshop will be certified to sell and serve for the next four years. All vendors are encouraged to ensure that their employees have been trained and certified in responsible sales and serving. For more information contact the Sabine Prevention alliance at 318-315-0081, 318-602-9206, Facebook / Sabine Prevention Alliance or at http://www.sabineprevents.com.
Hats off to the Many Police Department and all concerned citizens that are working together to keep our youth safe, sober and successful.
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