Skip to main content

Rate for Checking IDs Prior to Serving/Selling Alcohol Drops to 65% Among Ann Arbor Bars, Restaurants and Liquor Stores in Latest Inspection

Ann Arbor area bars, restaurants, and liquor stores “pass” rate for correctly checking patrons’ identification to verify their legal age prior to serving or selling beverage alcohol dropped to 65% (down from the 85% aggregate rate last fall) in recent mystery shop inspections. Of the 20 inspections,13 licensed establishments received green cards, indicative of an overall “pass” rate.   Specific results show:

  • 6 of 10 (60%) on-premises establishments checked IDs (down 30% from fall)
  • 7 of 10 (70%) off-premises retailers checked IDs (down 10% from fall).

The Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) is sponsoring the mystery shopper program in Ann Arbor for a second academic year through grant funding provided by the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association (NABCA) of which the MLCC is a member as a state regulator.

“Our goal is to prevent the illegal sale and service of alcohol to minors and to curtail underage drinking in Ann Arbor,” said MLCC Chair Pat Gagliardi. “These inspections provide non-punitive ‘teachable moments’ for licensees, to remind them of the importance of checking IDs every time.”

The mystery shops are done through the Michigan Alcohol Responsibility Program (MI ARP), conducted by the Responsible Retailing Forum (RRForum) on behalf of the MLCC. The inspections are for educational purposes. The MI ARP complements the MLCC’s Controlled Buy Operation Program by preparing licensees to pass compliance checks either by the MLCC or local law enforcement. 

The MI ARP provides licensees on-the-spot feedback on actual staff ID-checking conduct as observed by young, legal-age mystery shoppers. If staff ask for and check the customer’s ID, the licensee receives a green card to display, showing that it had acted as a responsible retailer. Failure to check IDs results in receiving a red card. Liquor licensees in Ann Arbor will receive a Community Report on these latest overall results.

The safe sale and service of alcohol protects public health and safety and allows the industry to expand. In the last decade, the spirits industry in Michigan has more than doubled to $1.91 billion in state spirit sales to retail licensees for fiscal year 2022.

The MLCC joins with the Michigan Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking, and industry stakeholders to promote the responsible sale, service, and consumption of alcohol in college communities and throughout Michigan. 

The mission of the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) is to make alcoholic beverages available for consumption while protecting the consumer and the general public through regulation of those involved in the sale and distribution of these alcohol beverage products.   

Media Contact: