Tag Archives: Ohio Investigative Unit

Officials Remind Hosts About Alcohol Laws Ahead of Graduation Parties

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(Columbus) – Agents with the Ohio Investigative Unit (OIU) and the Ohio Division of Liquor Control are reminding high school students not to use drugs or alcohol during graduation celebrations. Agents are also encouraging parents to refrain from furnishing alcohol or a place to consume alcohol.

“Hosting a graduation party with alcohol is not giving your children and their friends a safe place to gather,” said Senior Enforcement Commander Erik Lockhart. “Adults who choose to host a party with drugs and alcohol are not only opening themselves up for jail time, fines, and civil suits; but could ultimately be responsible for the loss of life.”

To help foster good choices, parents and teens need to understand Ohio’s underage drinking laws.

  • It is illegal to provide a place for your child and his/her friends to drink in a “safe” environment. In fact, parents may not provide alcohol to children who are under 21, who are not their own, even in their own home with the other parents’ permission. Those convicted of providing alcohol to a person under 21 years of age face a maximum sentence of six months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.
  • It is illegal to purchase alcohol for anyone under 21. Anyone who purchases, sells or gives alcoholic beverages to underage individuals faces a $1,000 fine and/or up to six months in jail.
  • If you are under 21 and are caught driving with a blood alcohol concentration of .02 percent or higher, a level that can be reached after just one or two drinks, you can be arrested. Punishment is suspension of your driver license for at least 90 days up to a maximum of two years, plus four points added to your driving record. Having an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle is also illegal.

Carry-outs and drive-through establishments should be on alert for underage individuals attempting to purchase alcohol. The DOLC reminds permit holders and liquor agency stores of their responsibility to ensure they are not selling to or serving those under the age of 21.

“These celebrations can turn into tragedies when they’re combined with alcoholic beverages and can result in lifelong effects on teens, their families, and their communities,” said DOLC Superintendent Jim Canepa. “Taking steps to stop the sale of alcoholic beverages to underage consumers can help keep teens and communities safe, sound, and secure.”

The best way to prevent underage sales is for liquor permit holders and agency stores and their staff to thoroughly check the identification of all young people attempting to purchase alcoholic beverages. Always ask for a photo ID and carefully compare it to the person seeking to make a purchase. If photo/ID can’t be provided, or if it’s not clear that the ID belongs to the person who presented it, it’s critical to refuse the sale.

“Together, we must commit to making a safer Ohio, by stopping senseless tragedies associated with irresponsible and illegal underage alcohol consumption,” Commander Lockhart said.

If you have information about a bar, store or carryout selling beer and/or liquor to persons under the age of 21, or you have information of an underage house party, please notify the Ohio Investigative Unit by calling the #677 on your cell phone and your complaint will be investigated.

State Officials Remind Ohioans to Recognize Alcohol-Related Risks

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(Columbus) — As the holiday celebrations continue and New Year’s Eve approaches, families gather, and friends reconnect. This season oftentimes brings with it an increase in alcohol consumption and with that, the Ohio Department of Commerce’s Division of Liquor Control (DOLC) and the Ohio Investigative Unit (OIU) are urging adults to drink and serve responsibly.

All people who drink, regardless of the amount, need to be aware that critical decision-making abilities and driving-related skills are already diminished long before a person shows physical signs of intoxication. If you decide to drink this holiday, please do so responsibly.

“Christmas parties and New Year’s Eve celebrations make for some of the busiest nights of the entire year for bars and restaurants,” said Jim Canepa, DOLC superintendent. “It is important for the staff of liquor permit holders to know the rules while remaining vigilant. Their work ensures that Ohioans and their families enjoy themselves, but within reason, so everyone remains safe.”

State officials consistently educate liquor establishments on the dangers of overconsumption and underage drinking. Liquor permit holders who would like more information on the sale and handling of alcohol and on the rules and regulations should visit: https://www.oiu.ohio.gov/oiu-programs.aspx. As a reminder for liquor establishments, it is against the law to give away alcohol in connection to your business. Also, patrons cannot pay a flat fee for an “all-you-can-drink” promotion.

“We want everyone enjoying the company of family and friends to have a safe place to celebrate the holidays,” said Senior Enforcement Commander Erik Lockhart. “Liquor permit staff and party hosts have an obligation to ensure their patrons and guests safety. Their safety starts with you.”

Before you celebrate, all party hosts or liquor establishments should plan to incorporate these tips to ensure a safe, enjoyable, and most importantly, responsible holiday gathering:

  1. Don’t serve alcohol to anyone under the age of 21.
  2. Don’t serve alcohol to anyone who is intoxicated.
  3. If someone has had too much to drink, don’t let them drive; use a designated driver, rideshare, or taxi service.
  4. If you see someone tampering with another person’s beverage, get that person out of the situation and call for help immediately.
  5. Take reports of threats against your patrons or guests seriously

If you or someone you know needs help, or for more information, contact Ohio Careline at 1-800-720-9616 or text the Ohio Crisis Text Line (keyword 4HOPE to 741 741). For more tips and resources about safe alcohol consumption, visit rethinkingdrinking.niaaa.nih.gov.