Convenience store and gas station alcohol sales
lead to increased sales to minors and increased enforcement costs for government
The Beer Store runs a first-rate responsible sales system
The Beer Store’s deep commitment to responsible service is demonstrated in its actions:
- Operates a highly effective challenge and refusal program (“WE ID 25”) where anyone who appears 25 or younger is asked for ID;
- Trains all store staff in responsible sales practices;
- “Mystery shops” all stores to ensure compliance;
- Monitors staff and evaluates managers on responsible sales performance.
As a result of this commitment more than 3.5 million customers are challenged every year.
Experience shows convenience stores and gas stations can’t be trusted
That’s why 64% of Ontarians believe that sales to minors would increase under a convenience store retail system (Ipsos Reid Survey).
But that’s not all…
In August 2013, the Ontario Safety League launched ‘Not At My Store.’ The public awareness campaign attempted to shed light on the illegal practice of neighbourhood convenience stores selling illicit drug paraphernalia to teenagers. Find out which illegal items these neighbourhood convenience stores were caught selling.
In 2013 the New York State Liquor Authority charged 90 licensed grocery and liquor stores after conducting an investigation into underage alcohol sales in the city. Their underage decoys went to 201 stores and were successfully able to purchase alcohol 45% of the time. Learn more about the investigation and punishments.
In 2012, The Vancouver Sun reported that private liquor stores in B.C. were four times more likely to sell booze to minors than government stores. The province’s liquor control branch sent underage agents into stores to investigate. In the privately-run liquor stores they were successful 16% of the time, while in the government stores they were only successful 4% of the time. Read more about report.
Finally, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health's 2013 student drug use survey found that 15.6% of underage Ontario students who smoked reported purchasing their cigarettes at convenience stores, gas stations and bars. In contrast, only 1.2% of students said they were able to purchase beer at The Beer Store.
U.S. Minor compliance check program results1
Other prominent organizations agree
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
This 2012 Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives report concluded that, “the evidence from the privatization initiatives in Alberta and British Columbia shows that in addition to the massive expansion of liquor outlets, private retailers in both provinces have been more inclined to sell liquor to minors.”
In May 2013, MADD Canada released this report, which noted that only two years ago, “MADD Canada, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and the Ontario Public Health Association wrote to Ontario municipalities, urging them to oppose the sale of beer and wine in convenience stores. The majority of responding municipalities agreed that beer and wine should not be available in convenience stores.”
Arrive Alive Drive Sober
In April 2013, Arrive Alive Drive Sober wrote a strongly worded letter to PC Leader Tim Hudak, urging him to reconsider support of convenience store alcohol sales. “It is our firm belief that corner stores are unable to exercise the control required to ensure responsible sales of alcohol as outlined in the Liquor Licence Act because refusing a sale will lower their bottom line…”
“The history of corner store sales with nicotine and lottery tickets has proven them to be at risk when it comes to selling responsibly and adding the privilege of retailing alcohol would be a serious mistake in the opinion of our organization and its membership”
Arrive Alive, Drive Sober open letter, 2013