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Most retailers use ID-checking materials to help stop alcohol sales to teens

ST. LOUIS -- Sellers and servers of alcohol are doing their part to help prevent underage drinking, according to a new survey sponsored by Anheuser Bush Cos. Inc. The findings show that the overwhelming majority of retailers97%use ID-checking materials to help prevent sales to teens. Additionally, 91% of retailers say the materials are effective in stopping underage sales.

According to the Partnership for a Drug Free America, all measures of teen alcohol use decreased significantly from 1998 to 2004. Additionally, the percentage of high-school seniors [image-nocss] who reported having a drink in the last 30 days is down 31% since 1982, according to the University of Michigan's 2004 Monitoring the Future study.

It's encouraging to see that today's teens are making responsible choices and that underage drinking continues to decline. The role of retailers in checking IDs is a very important part of that success, says John Kaestner, vice president of consumer affairs at St. Louis-based A-B. Individuals who serve or sell alcohol beverages are really the front line in preventing underage sales.

To assist retailers in spotting fake IDs, A-B distributes drivers' license booklets that feature photos of valid drivers' licenses from all 50 states. The survey showed that these types of books are the most-used item by on-premise retailers, with 58% incorporating them as part of their underage-drinking prevention efforts. Static-cling door decals that remind customers they will be asked to show a valid ID when purchasing alcohol beverages are the most popular item at off-premise accounts, used by 73% of those retailers.

A-B and its network of more than 600 wholesalers across the country provide retailers with a variety of educational materials to help train their staff on how to properly check IDs, as well as point-of-sale reminders for customers purchasing alcohol beverages. This includes cards that list tips on how to spot fake IDs, age-verification calendars reminding clerks how old individuals must be to legally purchase alcohol, and for bars and special events, wristbands that identify individuals who have shown a valid ID.

Likewise, We I.D. cooler door stickers, change mats and posters let patrons know they will be carded. Since 1990, A-B and its wholesalers have provided more than 1.4 million ID-checking books, 42 million wristbands and 1.1 million We I.D. cards.

To complete the survey, the A-B Customer Relationship Group conducted 300 telephone interviews with managers or owners of on- and off-premise accounts nationwide who carry A-B products.

Other findings from the survey revealed that:

60% of off-premise retailers use posters, drivers' license books, cooler stickers, and calendars. 40% of on-premise retailers use posters and calendars. 44% of retailers surveyed obtained their ID-checking materials from A-B or its wholesalers.

For more than two decades, Anheuser-Busch and its wholesalers have invested more than a half-billion dollars in a comprehensive portfolio of more than two dozen community-based programs and national advertising campaigns to promote responsibility and discourage alcohol abuse, including underage drinking and drunk driving.

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