We ID in S.C.

State's c-stores, beer wholesalers team up to stop underage drinking

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- A new partnership between the South Carolina Association of Convenience Stores (SCACS) and the state's 11 Anheuser-Busch wholesalers intends to crack down on minors using fake IDs to buy alcohol.

During a press conference at the South Carolina statehouse, SCACS president Brad Poe; Anheuser-Busch Inc. Region 3 senior sales director Bob Powers; and Budweiser of Columbia president and COO Jim Kirkham announced the underage-drinking prevention initiative. The effort focuses on training convenience store clerks how to properly check IDs, [image-nocss] as well as merchandising stores with SCACS We ID point-of-sale (POS) materials to remind consumers they will be asked to show a valid form of identification when purchasing alcohol beverages.

Governor Mark Sanford, Lieutenant Governor Andre Bauer, Attorney General Henry McMaster, State Senator Jake Knotts, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, the South Carolina Police Chiefs Association and the South Carolina Sheriffs' Association have all endorsed the partnership as an effective way to address this important issue.

Our clerks are the front line in preventing sales to minors, said Poe. This partnership with Anheuser-Busch to support server training and provide our members with a comprehensive array of We ID' point-of-sale and in-store signage offers us a common-sense deterrent to a statewide problem.

Powers, who was integral in bringing the SCACS and Anheuser-Busch together for this important undertaking, praised Poe and the SCACS members for adopting and implementing the brewer's ID-checking tools.

Anheuser-Busch is an industry leader in fighting all forms of alcohol abuse, including underage drinking. Not only did Brad immediately agree to work with us, he decided to customize the material with the SCACS logo and tape an introductory message on the training video. By doing this, he is sending a clear message to all of his members that illegal underage drinking can and should be stopped.

Budweiser of Columbia and Anheuser-Busch have a history of forming partnerships with other community leaders to find sensible, effective solutions to issues. Like me, Brad and many others in the SCACS are parents who share the same concerns as other parents about underage drinking, said Kirkham. All of us at Budweiser of Columbia are proud to assist the SCACS and its members in keeping alcohol out of the hands of minors.

Sanford added his endorsement for the underage drinking prevention effort, saying, This is a fine example of team work for the good of everyone in the state. I applaud the South Carolina Association of Convenience Stores and Anheuser-Busch for joining forces in a very valuable initiative.

Attorney General Henry McMaster said, This collaborative effort between the state's convenience stores and beer distributors will send a strong message statewide that we are doing what it takes to enforce the illegal underage drinking law.

The SCACS We ID program consists of:

A customized training video featuring an introduction by SCACS President Brad Poe that encourages retail employees to make the commitment to learn how to sell alcohol responsibly. TIPS (Training for Intervention Procedures) training offered once a month by A-B wholesalers to members of the association. TIPS provides strategies for preventing alcohol sales to underage or intoxicated patrons. The cost of this training is discounted to SCACS members. SCACS-customized We ID cooler stickers, employee stickers, banners and other in-store signage reminding patrons that clerks will check for proper identification.

SCACS represents more than 1,500 retail and 275 supplier members and their business interests in the state of South Carolina.

In 2005 alone, A-B's South Carolina wholesalers provided more than 591,800 wristbands and 1,500 We ID cards to help servers and sellers of alcohol beverages effectively identify those patrons of legal purchase age and stop sales to minors. More than 7,000 servers of alcohol have been trained by South Carolina wholesalers since 1989.

Since 1982, A-B and its network of more than 600 wholesalers have invested more than a half-billion dollars in national advertising campaigns and community-based programs to promote responsible drinking and prevent alcohol abuse, including underage drinking and drunk driving.

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