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ODMHSAS and Oklahoma ABLE Commission Release Underage Access to Alcohol Purchase Study Results

Monday, November 13, 2023

ODMHSAS and the Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Law Enforcement Commission (ABLE) are announcing the results of the bi-annual Underage Access to Alcohol Purchase Study (APS). This comprehensive study, aimed at assessing the compliance rate of alcohol sales to underage buyers, reflects the study conducted from Feb. 1, 2023, to May 15, 2023, involving a total of 799 compliance checks. Of these, 673 checks were eligible for assessment. The findings reveal an overall state compliance rate of 73.7%, showcasing the commitment of licensed alcohol retailers across Oklahoma to prevent underage access to alcohol.

Key results from the study include:

  • During the APS, establishments where alcohol is consumed on-premises, such as in bars and restaurants, demonstrated a compliance rate of 59%.
  • Establishments where alcohol is not consumed on-premises, such as grocery or convenience stores, demonstrated a compliance rate of 83.6%.
  • In all establishments surveyed during the APS, clerks requested the underage buyer's identification 81.3% of the time.  In bars and restaurants, clerks requested the youth buyer’s ID in almost 75% of purchase attempts compared to off-premises alcohol establishments requesting the youth buyer’s ID in 91.5% of attempts.
  • APS results show clerks or servers who did not ask for the youth buyer’s ID, sold alcohol in nearly 94% of purchase attempts. When the youth's ID was not checked in on-premises consumption establishments, sales occurred 24% of the time and for off-premises consumption establishments, sales occurred in 12.1% of purchase attempts.  
  • On-premises establishments checked the youth buyer’s identification in 74.5% of attempts, with 23.8% of those leading to sales. In contrast, off-premises establishments checked identification in 91.5% of attempts, with 12.5% resulting in sales.There was no specific day of the week or time of day when underage buyers were able to purchase alcohol more often than other days or times.


ODMHSAS is committed to continuing efforts to prevent underage access to alcohol. To further this objective, the department is focusing on training initiatives, such as the Responsible Beverage Sales & Service (RBSS) Training program developed in partnership with ABLE. This training is mandatory for all individuals selling or serving alcohol in stores, restaurants or bars.

“Alcohol is one of the most dangerous drugs in the United States. We are proud to partner with the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services and assist with the Underage Access to Alcohol Study,“ said ABLE Director Brandon Clabes. Clabes added, “The results of this study will help us direct resources to combat the sale of alcohol to underage individuals. This is a public safety issue that we continuously attack through proactive education and enforcement.”

The RBSS Training promotes the legal and responsible sale and service of alcoholic beverages in Oklahoma. It equips participants with essential skills and techniques to recognize signs of intoxication, understand the effects of alcohol on the body and behavior and effectively check identification. Additionally, it offers intervention techniques for dealing with intoxicated and underage customers.

This training is available as an eLearning course, providing greater accessibility and ensuring that those responsible for alcohol sales and service are well-equipped to uphold legal and responsible practices.

For further information regarding the APS study or the RBSS Training, please contact Lauren Kidwell at


About ABLE: 

The ABLE Commission is responsible for ensuring compliance with the Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Control Act through regular inspections of licensed entities. Priority enforcement is directed toward the elimination of access to alcoholic beverages and tobacco products to underage persons.

ODMHSAS Communications

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