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The Old Dominion University Alcohol Task Force, a joint venture that involves the Norfolk Police Department and the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control and its licensees (primarily bar/restaurant owners), was featured as the cover story in a recent issue of the VABC newsletter.

The task force was created in 1998 in an effort to curb underage drinking. "Very few of my counterparts around the state can say that they have the type of cooperation that we do," Cliff Rice, director of public safety, says in the story. "Fortunately, we were able to work out jurisdiction boundaries that sometimes prove difficult when several agencies are involved in a project."

The article cites a recent VABC-sponsored competition for which Old Dominion art students created posters on the themes of binge drinking, driving under the influence and underage drinking. In addition, it mentions the new Secret Shopper Program, also financed by a VABC grant.

Dana Burnett, vice president for student services, explains the program in the story. "Students who are underage will attempt to purchase alcohol in some of the local establishments and report the results, both positive and not so positive, back to the ABC agent and participating licensees," he said. "This way, owners will know whether their employees are in compliance. No
citations will be issued because the underage buyer will not actually buy or consume any alcohol. It is simply a test to see if the underage person can be served."

The goal, Burnett added, is to help the owner with quality control.

This article was posted on: January 30, 2001

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Telephone: 757-683-3114

Old Dominion University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.