The Right Time and Place: A New Approach for Prioritizing Alcohol Enforcement and Prevention Efforts by Combining the Prevalence and the Success Rate for Minors Purchasing Alcohol Themselves

Ruud T. J. Roodbeen*, Annelies Kruize, Bert Bieleman, Roland Friele, Dike Van de Mheen, Karen Schelleman-Offermans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Web of Science)


Objective: In the Netherlands, enforcement of the alcohol age limit is low and inconsistent because of limited resources. A solution is to optimize the efforts of enforcement officers by prioritizing ways in which they regulate commercial alcohol availability. This could increase compliance by sellers, curbing commercial availability. The objective of this study is to present the development of a commercial alcohol availability estimate (CAAE) for all vendor types selling alcohol and to propose a priority ranking.
Method: A multi-method design was used, combining data (collected in 2015) from national studies reporting behavior of minors purchasing alcohol themselves and the success rate (noncompliance) of alcohol vendors (interviewing 510 minors by telephone and conducting 1,373 purchase attempts of alcohol by minors, respectively). Descriptive data and the development of the CAAE are presented.
Results: Compared with other vendor types (e.g., sports bars or supermarkets), bars/cafes/discos scored highest on the CAAE, indicating that 7.7% of 16- to 17-year-olds in the survey reported successfully purchasing their own alcohol at this vendor type.
Conclusions: To control commercial alcohol availability efficiently for minors in the Netherlands, our estimates suggest that enforcement and prevention efforts should prioritize bars/cafes/discos. However, local authorities should also consider local circumstances and maintain a base amount of attention for all vendor types. Ultimately, the CAAE has the potential to improve enforcer capacity and efficiency in policing commercial alcohol regulation, and prevention workers could align their interventions or campaigns to high-ranked vendor types
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)719-724
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


  • LAW

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