Published in the May 13, 2016 edition

MELROSE — Reducing youth access to alcohol through enforcement of the minimum age for purchase is an effective prevention strategy that is used by the Melrose Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition. Illegal sales to minors can be prevented in a variety of ways. Alcohol Compliance Checks can provide information about which licensed alcohol retailers are working to prevent the sale of alcohol to underage buyers. Alcohol compliance checks:

• Tell us if an establishment is selling to minors

• Raise community awareness and build support for reducing sales to minors

• Inform merchants that they are being monitored by the community

• Aid law enforcement

• Help monitor the impact of prevention strategies

• Let minors know that local establishments are being monitored.

Since March 2009, the Coalition has partnered with the Health Department, Police Department, and Liquor Licensing Commission to conduct biannual compliance checks at establishments that serve or sell alcohol. Members of the Coalition work together with Melrose police officers and youth (aged 16-20 years old) from neighboring communities. The teens attempt to purchase alcohol at various locations without providing any identification.

At the most recent checks completed in last week, establishments were checked and none sold to the underage buyers (a 100 percent compliance rate)! This included two stores that sell alcohol and 10 restaurants, bars and clubs that serve alcohol. We would like to thank the Melrose business community for their positive efforts. (Please note: 3 establishments were closed or unable to be attempted at the time of these compliance checks and therefore were not included)

The Melrose Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition is a community group dedicated to improving the quality of life for all in Melrose by fostering evidence-based substance abuse prevention strategies. By working collaboratively and providing resources, the Coalition takes a leadership role in addressing this issue. For more information, please visit or call 781-979-4128.