New Challenges in Responsible Retailing

Nov 7, 2011 3:00 PM ET
Brad Krevor, Ph.D., President of the Responsible Retailing Forum

Our Thinking About Drinking: The Issues Forum

When asked about new challenges that posed the greatest threat to them, package store owners uniformly felt that enforcement of laws regarding sales to minors had become far more rigorous in recent years. Sales to individuals under age 21─whether made inadvertently by an inattentive clerk or willfully by an irresponsible or disgruntled employee─could expose the operator to fines, or a license suspension or revocation.

Operators of on-premises alcohol serving establishments expressed a concern that was best described by a tavern operator in Santa Fe, New Mexico: "We are now responsible for other people's behavior." Licensees are now exposed to liability for the actions of customers who become intoxicated in their establishments, or who leave their establishments intoxicated - even if they had arrived that way - and the harm those customers may cause to themselves and others.

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