Mixed Results for Risk-Assessment Tool in Curbing Illegal Alcohol Sales

    • February 26, 2007

Researchers at the University of Minnesota adapted and pilot tested Project ARM: Alcohol Risk Management II, a theory-based training program to reduce liquor, grocery story and convenience store sales of alcohol to underage and intoxicated people.

The project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's (RWJF) national Substance Abuse Policy Research Program (SAPRP).

Key Findings

  • Outlets that did not have written alcohol sales policies developed these policies after participating in Project ARM.
  • Sales of alcohol to apparently underage or intoxicated people dropped significantly both in outlets that participated in Project ARM and in those that did not.
  • Overall, there was little if any relation between an establishment's reported risk of selling alcohol to underage or intoxicated people and its actual sales of alcohol to these groups.

Key Conclusions

Risk-assessment instruments cannot be used independently to identify establishments most likely to sell alcohol illegally, but they are useful as tools to promote discussion about alcohol policies and to select new outlet policies.