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NHTSA People Saving People

Technology Transfer Series

Number 267, March 2002


As regulatory bodies, Alcohol Beverage Control agencies (ABCs) have the potential to be particularly effective in reducing underage access to alcohol and high risk drinking by college students. The right laws and regulations can minimize opportunities for young people to use alcohol and maximize the opportunities for effective enforcement and prevention. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) sponsored a project by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board to develop a manual to help Alcohol Beverage Control (ABCs) agencies identify opportunities and initiatives to reduce underage drinking.

ABCs, whether in control or licensed States, engage in a variety of programs to educate consumers and retailers, oversee server training, are active in statewide and local responsible beverage servers coalitions, fund grants to local law enforcement agencies to encourage participation, develop and conduct school awareness programs, and distribute information and materials. Control States control the sale of distilled spirits and in some cases, wine, through government agencies at the wholesale level. There are 18 Control States (Alabama, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming) and one county (Montgomery County, Maryland). The remaining 32 States are License States, where the wholesale and retail sales of distilled spirits and wine are wholly in the hands of private sellers.


Educating the Public

  • Act as a clearinghouse for materials
  • Compose materials in various languages
  • Create portable education displays
  • Develop brochures & other materials
  • Print an alcohol education newsletter
  • Produce a web site
  • Promote positive role models
  • Provide alcohol research and information

Working with Campus and Community Partners

  • Conduct statewide CORE surveys
  • Coordinate a collaboration conference
  • Develop state coalition & initiatives
  • Generate media
  • Provide mini-grants
  • Provide training & technical assistance

Working with K-12 Students

  • Coordinate youth forums & conferences
  • Create a mascot to deliver a "no-use" message
  • Develop a lesson plan for mascot
  • Implement a statewide high school journalism contest
  • Implement a statewide school poster contest

Working with Licensees

  • Help develop technology to scan drivers' licenses
  • Circulate responsible retailer posters
  • Develop a licensee publication
  • Increase compliance by checking IDs
  • Promote use of designated drivers
  • Provide orientation for new licensees
  • Provide regional licensee seminars
  • Provide training & responsible alcohol management service to stadiums & large public venues
  • Train sellers and servers

Working with Law Enforcement

  • Compliance checks by youth
  • Cops in Shops
  • Implement a toll free underage drinking hotline
  • Keg registration
  • Sobriety checkpoints
  • Nuisance bar program

Working with Community & Statewide Coalitions

  • Aware mini-grants for community prevention efforts
  • Establish a statewide coalition to reduce high risk and underage drinking among college students
  • Establish a statewide coalition to reduce underage drinking

Working with the Media

  • Develop a public service campaign
  • Distribute media kits


  • Conduct a process evaluation
  • Conduct an outcome evaluation
  • Conduct an impact evaluation

The Bloomsburg Initiative

  • Describes a case study of the Bloomsburg coalition (ABC, university, and town representatives) formed after students die of alcohol poisoning

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board

  • Describes history, activities, and projects


The manual briefly describes projects and activities conducted by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, as shown in the tables. Each section follows a standard format of identifying the target population, specifying goals to accomplish, describes the project and activities, lists specific action steps to reach the goals, and provides a list of resources.

The comprehensive appendices, which are only available on CD-ROM, contain detailed materials for each topic. For example, in the Section about working with campus communities and college students, one page describes how to conduct statewide CORE surveys. The CORE survey was developed by Southern Illinois University to collect information on student drinking behaviors and perceptions. An ABC may want to assist in conducting a survey such as this to provide evaluation data and feedback for individual colleges and statewide efforts. The appendix contains a sample of the complete survey instrument.

Other sections of the appendices contain a lesson plan "Say No to Alcohol" targeted at students in kindergarten through third grade, Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management (TEAM) targeted at large public venues, Responsible Alcohol Management Program(RAMP) targeted at alcohol purveyors. There are sample mini-grant forms, public service announcements for television and radio, and coalition building activities. There is also a documentary play, "gravity hill (or whatever)..." sponsored by the Bloomsburg Initiative that targets underage drinking.


For a copy of State Alcohol Control Agencies Approach to Underage Drinking Prevention; Overview (about 50 pages) and Appendix of Best Practices (only on CD-ROM) prepared by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, write to Media and Marketing, NHTSA, NTS-21, 400 Seventh Street, S.W., Washington, DC 20590 or send a fax to (301) 386-2194 or download from

U.S. Department
of Transportation
National Highway
Traffic Safety

400 Seventh Street, S.W. NTS-31
Washington, DC 20590

Traffic Tech is a publication to disseminate information about traffic safety programs, including evaluations, innovative programs, and new publications. Feel free to copy it as you wish.

If you would like to receive a copy contact:

Linda Cosgrove, Ph.D., Editor, Evaluation Staff
Traffic Safety Programs
fax (202) 366-7096