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Underage Drinkers Buy Alcohol Online With Few Barriers

on 08/05/12 at 10:15 am

Booze News

Underage drinkers successfully bought alcohol online in about half their attempts, according to a study that found the illegal purchases went through even when little attempt was made to disguise the buyer’s true age.

Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill recruited eight young adults, ages 18 to 20, to buy wine, alcohol, beer or other adult beverages from 100 popular websites in the $2.4 billion industry. All were given a letter of immunity from the local district attorney. Their efforts are detailed in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

Of the orders, 45 were received, 28 were rejected after the delivery company tried to verify the buyer’s age and 11 were sent back when no one was home to receive them. Another 16 went awry for reasons like technical glitches unrelated to age. While the researchers allowed buyers to fabricate a birth date on an online purchase form, they had to show their real identification if they were asked for it. In many cases, the official document didn’t prevent the purchase, the study found.

FULL STORY via Bloomberg