PIRE Publication - Doubly illegal: Qualitative accounts of underage alcohol access through theft


This study investigated sources of alcohol for underage drinkers. In-depth, semi-structured interviews were individually conducted with 47 youths, ages 15-18, who reported drinking within the last 12 months, to explore alcohol access. Theft was one method that some youths reported using to obtain alcohol. In addition to 9% of respondents who reported stealing alcohol from commercial outlets themselves, a total of 26% respondents reported occasions when their close friends stole alcohol. Our findings unveiled that teens had a body of knowledge that some drew upon for stealing alcohol. Youths revealed detailed knowledge about store layout, theft protection devices and store policies. In particular, respondents disclosed knowledge about which aisles have blind spots, how to remove security tops on bottles, and no-chase policies. Theft of alcohol from commercial sources may be reduced by examining the weaknesses of existing theft prevention practices, and revising store policies.;

Jennings, Vanessa K.
Friese, Bettina
Moore, Roland S.
Grube, Joel W.