Thursday, July 19 – OC Police Proud Of Underage Compliance Check

OCEAN CITY – With the summer in full swing, the Ocean City Police Department recently conducted an undercover compliance check and reported only one business sold to an underage cadet.

Barry Neeb, Ocean City Police spokesman, said he was pleased with the recent compliance check performed in the city.

The operation was conducted through the R.A.A.M. Program, which stands for Reducing the Availability of Alcohol to Minors, and works as a community policing initiative to control underage drinking in Ocean City.

One effort of the R.A.A.M. program is the compliance checks that occur throughout town at unspecified times. The compliance check system sends cadets under the age of 21 to local businesses. The undercover cadet attempts to purchase alcohol with an under-21 ID. If the business denies the cadet, then they have passed the compliance check.

On June 29, the cadets were sent to 35 alcohol distributors around town. Of the 35 establishments tested, 34 turned the undercover, underage, cadet away. The result is a remarkable 97 percent compliance rating.

According to Neeb, the average compliance rate in the State of Maryland is 60 percent. Since the creation of the R.A.A.M. program over 10 years ago, the Ocean City compliance rate has remained at an average of 91 percent.

The R.A.A.M. program began in the spring of 1996, after tragedies from the previous summer brought the severity of underage drinking to the town’s attention. In the summer of 1995, five people, all under the age of 21, died as a result of alcohol-related instances. The tragedies spurred the town to create a system that would help to control the pervasiveness of underage drinking.

“One of the things that we realized early on was that underage drinking was prevalent in Ocean City,” Neeb said.

To read the full story, see The Dispatch tomorrow.