News From Terre Haute, Indiana

March 7, 2013

Alcohol sales to minors up in Vigo

Statistics show numbers for Indiana are at all-time low however

The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — The number of Indiana businesses willing to sell alcohol to minors is at an all-time low, according to 2012 statistics recently released by the Indiana State Excise Police.

Vigo County, however, saw an increase in the percentage of violations, while the counties of Clay and Parke had no violations recorded during the 2012 calendar year.

The figures come from excise officers working with underage youth in the Survey for Alcohol Compliance, which conducted 9,978 inspections at businesses around the state. Of those inspections, 504 failures were found — a 5.204 percent failure rate.

That is down slightly from 2011, when a 5.591 percent rate resulted from 602 failures at 10,767 businesses surveyed. The 2010 survey saw 875 failures from 9,231 inspections for a 9.479 percent failure rate.

In Clay County, no failures were found during 39 inspections in 2012, while Parke County had no failures from 14 inspections. Clay and Parke were among 17 counties that had no failures last year.

Sullivan County saw one failure in 32 inspections.

Vermillion County had one failure last year from 22 inspections.

Vigo County had nine failures from 221 inspections conducted for a failure rate of 4.072 percent in 2012. Comparatively, in 2011 excise officers conducted 441 inspections with 12 citations issued for a 2.721 percentage. And, in 2010, 33 failures were recorded among 606 inspections for a 5.44 percent failure rate.

The ATC reports that since 2007, when the Survey for Alcohol Compliance initiative went into effect, the number of Hoosier businesses willing to sell alcoholic beverages to minors has fallen each year. In 2007, about 33 percent of businesses were willing to sell alcohol to minors without checking identification. Rates have steadily declined since that time to 5.2 percent last year.

Among the businesses most willing to sell to minors in 2012 were farm wineries (30 percent), horse tracks, satellite facilities and gaming sites (26.7 percent), historic river vessels (23.3 percent) and hotels (14.3 percent).

Least likely to sell alcohol to minors, according to statistics, were civic centers (no failures), economic redevelopment projects (no failures), private clubs (1.5 percent), drug stores (2 percent), and grocery stores (3.3 percent).

Package stores were willing to sell alcohol to minors in 7.7 percent of inspections, while restaurants and bars were willing to sell in 6.8 percent of inspections.

Excise officers conduct alcohol-compliance inspections in order to reduce the number of businesses willing to sell alcoholic beverages to minors.