Date of Award


Degree Type


First Advisor

William C. Burger, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Kenneth B. Perkins, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Braxton L. Apperson, III, Ph. D.


The Commonwealth of Virginia relies on the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) to enforce laws designed to deter alcohol and cigarette sales to underage persons. ABC employs underage buyers (UAB) who attempt to make controlled purchases of alcoholic beverages and cigarettes.

The primary purpose of this research project is to determine if compliance checks deter alcohol sales to underage persons. Second, this study attempts to find if underage buyer demographics align with state demographics. Finally, this research attempts to determine if businesses are more likely to sell alcohol to underage buyers based on their race, ethnicity, and gender. This study analyzed 5,704 compliance checks using linear regression, cross tabulation, and chi-square.

Findings confirm that compliance checks deter illegal sales to underage buyers. ABC package store compliance increased 9 percent and retail compliance increased 14 percent. Additionally, ABC employed a disproportionate percentage of white underage buyers compared to black underage buyers, and Asian underage buyers. In regard to gender ABC employed a disproportionate percentage of male UAB compared to female UAB. Finally, this study discovered that ABC package stores sell alcohol to black underage buyers at significantly higher rates and that retail businesses also sell alcohol to black underage buyers at higher rates, but the result is not significant.



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