In 2010 NCADD Tulare County in Tulare, CA implemented the "We Don't Serve Teens" (WDST) campaign in Tulare County.
The campaign was developed by the Federal Trade Commission to fight underage drinking and is designed to bring community awareness in order to reduce the easy accessibility of alcohol to our youth and to encourage responsible retailing practices for all vendors.
Responsible retailing practices are key to preventing illegal alcohol sales so the NCADD Affiliate provides merchants with recommended practices which they can easily adopt. These practices include sales and service policies, monitoring staff conduct, not marketing to youth and proper ways to check IDs.
The three year goal of the campaign was to achieve 75 percent of all alcohol beverage license holders (Tulare County has 746 active licenses) to display "We Don't Serve Teens" decals throughout Tulare County.
By June 2013, we surpassed our goal with 605 businesses, or 81 percent, of retailers/businesses participating in the campaign by displaying the WDST decals.
The decals have double-sided messages and are available in both English and Spanish.
Most businesses have elected to place the decals on the front door where they can be seen by customers when entering and exiting the establishment. NCADD staff visits businesses on a regular basis to either post decals for the first time or replace damaged decals and to take the opportunity to inform owners, managers and employees of the no-cost California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control L.E.A.D. (Licensee Education on Alcohol and Drugs) training which the Affiliate co-hosts with the Visalia Police Department twice a year. Since 2010 over 250 individuals have attended the four-hour trainings representing 80 businesses.
Information is presented in accordance with Responsible Beverage Service Best Practices in order to promote public safety and to reduce risks associated with the retail alcohol environment.
As a result of these efforts we have seen a reduction in sales to minors through decoy and shoulder tap operations conducted by the Visalia Police Department through grants obtained from ABC.
Additionally, in November 2011, NCADD approached the Chief of Police about adopting a social host ordinance in the City of Tulare and in June 2012 the City Council unanimously passed the first Social Host Ordinance in Tulare County.
Currently there are two additional cities with ordinances close to being adopted. These programs and policies are all part of our ongoing environmental prevention effort to reduce underage drinking in Tulare County.
Kelley Nunes, Executive Director
NCADD Tulare Co., Inc.
P.O. Box 249
Tulare, CA 93275