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Chatham Drug Free kicks off its Safe Stores initiative

Posted Sunday, May 22, 2011

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Pittsboro, NC - On Thursday, May 26, Chatham Drug Free will kick-off its Safe Stores initiative, bringing recognition to stores that sell alcohol and tobacco but are consistent in checking IDs and not selling alcohol or tobacco to minors.

Chatham Drug Free, Chatham County's underage substance abuse prevention coalition, completed a series of alcohol purchase surveys over the past few years. Survey results in 2009 and 2010 showed 44% of the time clerks did not ask to see the identification of an over 21-year-old purchaser but, who age tested under the legal drinking age of 21 years old. Now they are trying lower the underage sales rate with the help of such partners as Cruizers, Inc. and Pantry Inc./Kangaroo Express.

"Kangaroo Express has always been committed to educating our employees to sell responsibly. Involvement in the Chatham County Safe Stores program provides a valuable refresher course to supplement our ongoing employee training. We recognize that our staff is part of the solution and we are proud Kangaroo Express has been recognized by Chatham County as a Safe Store," Scott Smith, regional sales manager for Kangaroo Express.

Organizers of the Safe Stores program include Chatham County Sheriff's Office, Pittsboro Police Department, Siler City Police Department, NC alcohol law enforcement, Chatham Drug Free, and business sector representatives such as stores owners who vendor alcohol and tobacco products.

Safe Stores requires all retail sales staff be trained in responsible alcohol sales and raises awareness of the consequences for selling to underage customers. In addition, Safe Stores requires retailers to have a written store policy for underage alcohol and tobacco sales, provide age verification devices and other materials that assist sales staff at point of sale.

Says Chatham Drug Free director Susan Powell, "Working together, as retailers and consumers, we will create an environment in which young adults are properly identified and confirmed to be of age before being sold alcohol and tobacco, and that consumers will not only expect this, but also support those business that show a commitment to preventing underage sales of alcohol and tobacco. This shares the responsibility for protecting the safety and well being of our community and our youth."

The key celebrations of the Safe Stores kick-off on Thursday, May 26 will be at Cruizers, 32 Powell Place Lane, Pittsboro from 10 am-11 am and Kangaroo Express, 1740 E 11th St., Siler City from 2 pm-3 pm.

Contact: Susan Powell 919-219-7404

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