Successful inaugural year of alcohol compliance training
The Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division (ABD) launched an online alcohol seller and server eLearning course called Iowa Program for Alcohol Compliance Training (I-PACT) one year ago. The goal of the program is to increase voluntary compliance with the state’s alcohol laws through education.
“Since I-PACT was launched, over 12,500 users have logged onto the program and received certification,” said ABD Administrator Stephen Larson. “That’s thousands of citizens, licensees, clerks and servers that have been educated on responsibly providing age restricted products to consumers in Iowa.”
From January 2011 to January 2012, the year prior to the launch of I-PACT, 370 sale-to-minor citations were issued across the state. When compared to first year after I-PACT implementation, 110 fewer sale-to-minor citations were issued. That represents an overall 30 percent reduction of citations for selling alcohol to underage kids.
"The strong participation by licensees and their employees in our I-PACT training program shows that a serious effort is being made to reduce underage alcohol consumption,” said ABD Commission Chair James Clayton.
ABD has worked closely with other agencies and organizations to communicate the availability of training while also receiving feedback on how the program has been utilized in local communities. “The I-PACT program completes the loop — regulation, enforcement and education. Simply discussing the I-PACT program with alcohol licensees has shown me that we all have a common interest,” said Jay Pedelty from Prairie Ridge Addiction and Treatment Centers in Mason City. Pedelty also noted that visits to licensees to promote I-PACT has resulted in increased participation in both online and supplemental training.
Violations for illegal sales of alcohol to minors include a $500 criminal fine to the clerk, as well as a $500 civil fine to the retail establishment for the first violation. Subsequent violations can result in higher fines, license suspension or even license revocation. Within the past year, 10 establishments have avoided penalties through the affirmative defense by having employees become I-PACT certified prior to receiving a sale-to-minor violation.
I-PACT asks that a pact is made by Iowa's kids to not use alcohol products, Iowa's retailers to not sell alcohol to minors and Iowa's law enforcement to enforce alcohol laws. The training is available at I-PACT.com. All individuals who sell alcohol for on- or off-premises consumption are encouraged to take the training.