Purpose of Practice
Keeping it Safe Educational Campaign: Community or Other Training, Social Hosting, Adult Responsibility, Underage Drinking Prevention - The Keeping it Safe campaign is a comprehensive educational program, outreaching to both the hospitality industry and the community. A model for the state of Maryland, this umbrella campaign comprises numerous awareness programs and tools.
Description of Practice
Below is a listing of programs and efforts that fall under the Department of Liquor Control’s Keeping it Safe public education program. • Media Advocacy & Public Awareness: Coordinate at least one annual press conference and write monthly press releases focusing on educational programs and tools. • ID Checking Calendars: Annually design and distribute 1,500 ID Checking Calendars for alcohol retailers. • Responsible Hospitality & Best Practices Development and Promotion: Develop and promote tip sheets and training sections on responsible hospitality and research based best practices. • Alcohol Law Education and Retailers Training (ALERT): Develop and maintain the Alcohol Law Education and Regulation Training (ALERT) classes, twice a month, for current and potential licensees and their staff, educating on local regulations and resources. • Training Series: Develop and coordinate trainings on varying topics upon request from licensees. • Point of Sale Materials- Design and distribute point of sale materials for establishments. • Newslink: Produced monthly, this educational bulletin for businesses focuses on new laws, regulations and seasonal licensing information. • Adult Host Responsibility Campaign: An ongoing educational campaign promoting zero tolerance for under 21 alcohol use, related laws and consequences. Periodically update, re-print and distribute brochures in Spanish and English. • SAFEnet: A monthly, online bulletin distributed by e-mail to over 100 county parents, and all county PTAs, focusing on teen alcohol prevention. • SAFEline: A dedicated phone line for the public to report under 21 drinking and adult providers. • Website: An effort to keep the Division of Licensure, Regulation and Education of the Department of Liquor Control’s website modernized and up to date for consistent access of current information and resources. • Grant Writing: All Keeping it Safe efforts are paid for by grant funds and offered free of cost. Outreach staff seek out and substantiate funding from local, state and national grant programs.
Success or Improvements
The Department of Liquor Control, Keeping it Safe campaign provides safety guidelines and tools to businesses that sell/serve alcohol resulting in restricted access of alcohol to minors under the age of 21 and prevention of over-service. Education helps business owners and service staff understand their liability and responsibility to protect the safety of their patrons, further helping to build safe communities and maintain a level of voluntary compliance. The Adult Host Responsibility campaign, SAFEnet bulletin, SAFEline, and other public awareness efforts help to change the culture on alcohol use by minors under 21 and over-service making it unacceptable. Explaining liability, laws and consequences helps empower adults to talk to the youth in their lives about alcohol use and make better decisions when it comes to alcohol. The implementation of an ongoing educational support program is the first known resource of its kind in the state of Maryland. The Keeping it Safe program improves the counties public safety, is cost effective and advances the training and tools needed by small businesses with alcohol licenses in Montgomery County. By striving to be a resource, the Department of Liquor Control understands they can help shape the communities they serve.
Evaluation of the Practice
Evaluation is an important component to keeping up grant funding. The Keeping it Safe Campaign has had positive results with pre and post testing measuring knowledge attained during trainings. Further, campaigns focusing on high alcohol violation rates have shown a decrease in citations. For example, hotel room service alcohol sales were a concern during Prom Season. After the Keeping it Safe program launched a public awareness campaign, compliance for underage alcohol sales rose from 67% in FY 2009 to 80% in 2010. This increase is attributed to Keeping it Safe program efforts.
2008 WRAPPY Youth Leadership Award 2010 NACO Achievement Award
Name: Emily Detitta
Agency: Montgomery County Maryland Department of Liquor Control
Address: 16550 Crabbs Branch Way, Rockville, MD 20855