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Rate for Checking IDs Prior to Serving/Selling Alcohol Remains High at 90% Among East Lansing Bars, Restaurants and Liquor Retailers in Latest Inspection

Ann Arbor area bars and restaurants continue to fall behind liquor retailers for correctly checking patrons’ identification to verify their legal age prior to serving or selling beverage in recent mystery shop inspections. Specific results (compared to mystery shops done last winter) are:

  • 6 of 10 (60%) on-premises establishments checked IDs (same as last winter)
  • 8 of 10 (80%) off-premises retailers checked IDs (up from 7 of 10 last winter).

“These mystery shops serve as a constant reminder of the importance of checking IDs every time to keep alcohol out of the hands of minors,” said Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) Chair Kristin Beltzer.

The MLCC has sponsored the mystery shopper program in Ann Arbor for two academic years through grant funding provided by the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association of which the MLCC is a member as a state regulator.

The mystery shops, done through the Michigan Alcohol Responsibility Program (MI ARP), are conducted by the Responsible Retailing Forum (RRForum) on behalf of the MLCC. 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. 

Young, legal-age shoppers hand staff a green card for checking IDs and a red card when no ID is requested, providing licensees with on-the-spot feedback. Liquor licensees in Ann Arbor will receive a Community Report on the 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 retailer 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.

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