Store Clerks Turn Blind Eye to Underaged Alcohol Purchases

Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

In a freshly released study, test subjects 18 years of age (the legal drinking age) weren't asked for ID on 71 percent of their alcohol purchases.

The National Institute for Health Development, which conducted the study in June, said the results indicate a similar ease for purchasing alcohol for those under the legal age.

Supermarkets and alcohol stores were the most likely to turn a blind eye, while gas stations and small stores had the strictest enforcement.

In a quarter of the purchases, there was no eye contact between the cashier and customer.

The study was based on a three-day experiment, in which seven 18-year-old youths, four men and three women, made 169 purchases in 184 stores throughout Estonia.

The stores were classified into six categories - supermarkets, mid-sized stores, small stores, alcohol stores, basement shops and gas stations.

Another study, conducted in 2009 and 2010, concluded that 92 percent of 15-year-olds had drunk alcohol, and 20 percent of boys and 14 percent of girls drank regularly.


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