The LA Times recently reported on a University of North Carolina study of underage drinkers who attempted to buy alcoholic beverages online. They were surprisingly successful–45% of these teens and 20-year-olds were able to make their illegal purchase of wine, beer, or other alcohol. They ordered from 100 different websites, and deliveries were made by FedEx or United Parcel Service.
The study participants lied about their age on order forms, but were instructed to tell the truth to a delivery person if asked. They also obtained letters of immunity from their local district attorney in order to protect the study from being penalized by the law. As mentioned, 45 of the orders were successful. Only 28 were rejected because the customer was underage. The remaining orders did not go through because of technical glitches or because no one was home to receive the delivery.
“The bottom line is that alcohol regulation and enforcement are simply not keeping up with new technologies,” said David Jernigan, director of the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.
Source: The LA Times