Access to alcohol among individuals under 21 years of age continues to be a public health concern with approximately 5000 youth deaths attributable to alcohol each year (US Department of Health and Human Services 2007). To date, there is no research on youth access to alcohol from commercial sources within rural communities with large populations of Native American families. We evaluated commercial access to alcohol by underage-appearing female confederates in 4 rural towns within the Cherokee Nation, a non-reservation tribal jurisdiction that includes a high proportion of Native Americans embedded within a predominately White population. Alcohol purchase attempts were conducted approximately every 4 weeks on 10 occasions for a total of 997 alcohol purchase attempts. In addition to purchase attempt outcome, we collected data on characteristics of the outlets and clerks. Alcohol was sold to confederates without use of age identification on 23 % of all purchase attempts. Across repeated attempts, 76 % of outlets sold alcohol to a confederate at least once. Males and younger clerks were more likely to sell alcohol to the confederates. Grocery stores and gas stations were more likely to sell alcohol to the confederate than liquor stores, but this effect was no longer significant once seller age was accounted for in a multivariable model. Three out of 4 outlets sold alcohol to young-appearing buyers at least once across repeated attempts. Results reinforce the continuing need for regular enforcement of laws against selling alcohol to minors.
Prevention Science – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 1, 2015
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