The importance of keeping liquor out of the hands of minors
Sponsored by Honolulu Liquor Commission
Talking to teens about alcohol and the risks of underage drinking is a conversation all parents need to have, but businesses also need to be vigilant in checking ID’s during the sale of liquor. As part of its “Don’t Drown Your Future” campaign to end underage drinking, the Honolulu Liquor Commission is partnering with Oahu’s retail licensed establishments, like ABC Stores, a chain of convenience stores that has gained a reputation of being a compliance champion.
The Honolulu Liquor Commission conducts routine compliance checks to ensure that licensees are not selling liquor to anyone under the age of 21. Regardless of whether the establishment intentionally or unintentionally sells alcohol to minors, there are major repercussions such as the establishment losing its liquor license or additional penalties, including fines or even jail time.
ABC Stores is a chain based in Honolulu with 39 locations on the island of Oahu. “When we looked at ABC Stores’ track record,” Cathy Lee, spokeswoman for the Honolulu Liquor Commission begins, “our agency recognized that they are committed to following the law, checking ID’s, and doing their part in promoting safer communities throughout Oahu.”
ABC Stores CEO Paul Kosasa believes the moral and civic responsibilities of keeping liquor and tobacco out of the hands of minors are part of owning and operating a retail business. “Minors attempting to purchase liquor are very common occurrences,” he explains. “This is a huge challenge that we are faced with, and our associates have successfully risen to this challenge.”
Kosaka’s message for other liquor licensed business owners is simple. “If a customer purchasing a liquor or tobacco product looks 40 years old or younger, ask for an ID,” he says. “No ID, no sale.” He also recommends having ID scanning technology at the point of sale to provide a quick way to determine the birth date of anyone that looks 40 years old or younger.
“I’m proud of our team,” Kosasa says. “We are very proud that our efforts are making a positive difference in the community.”
“We want Honolulu’s retailers, parents, friends, and relatives to know that if they have any doubt about the validity of someone’s ID, or any doubt about the person’s age, they have the right to refuse to serve or sell alcohol to them,” Lee says. The loss of one legitimate sale is significantly less than the cost of a liquor violation, both in the short term and long term when it comes to the operation of a business or the safety of family and friends.