MillerCoors combats underage drinking near college campuses

KNOXVILLE, Tenn (WVLT) -- MillerCoors has teamed up with the Cherokee Distributing Company to launch Respect 21.

Underage drinking is a well-documented issue, and is often more apparent in communities near college campuses.

Respect 21 started up in 2005, focusing on preventing underage access to alcohol, especially close to universities and colleges.

It's about to launch here in the Knoxville-area.

“We developed Respect 21 because we know that assisting retailers is the first step in preventing underage access to alcohol. Respect 21 has proven effective in more than 20 markets since its inception, including communities close to college campuses, and we’re excited to expand this successful program in new communities,” says Diane Wagner, responsibility commerce manager for MillerCoors.

Underage drinking is a well-documented issue nationwide, often more apparent in communities near large universities.

Programs like Respect 21, which help prevent alcohol sales to underage customers, are the first line of defense against underage consumption.

Here's how it works:
Local retailers enrolled in the program implement best practices and receive support in training their staff.

Additionally, licensees receive feedback on actual staff performance in checking IDs through legal-age mystery shoppers.

Community members are also engaged to work cooperatively in support of responsible retailing and to address related community issues, such as procedures related to fake IDs.

MillerCoors first partnered with the Responsible Retailing Forum and Brandeis University in 2005 to create Respect 21.

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