The program was first offered to retailers in the Burlington area as a test group. September and October 2001, licensees had the opportunity to call into the telephone number requesting the validation of a license that was being presented to them. Feedback from both on and off premise licensees projected a positive outlook and a genuine benefit could be seen for the program to continue through out the entire state.
The program has fielded over 1,200 phone calls from licensees in Vermont in the last three years. Of the 1,200 calls, 292 of have been deemed invalid. Keeping alcohol out the hands of potentially 292 minors is a great achievement. DLC commends the licensees who use this free service and hope that they will continue.
Signage and stickers are available through the main office in Montpelier by calling 1-800-832-2339.
Hours of operation for the We Check ID program are:
- Monday - Saturday 2:00pm to 2:00am
- Sunday 2:00pm to 8:00pm
September 2001 to December 2001, the majority of the telephone calls received came from Burlington. In November, dispatch starting receiving calls from Barre, Bennington, Pownal, Winooski, Essex Junction, and Rutland. A mass mailing had gone out to all licensees sending them the new signs and stickers for the We Check ID program, along with a brochure explaining how the program worked. Investigators were giving out the information at seminars and during inspections. This program was only offered on Friday and Saturday from 2pm to 2am. In December, calls were coming in from Randolph, Killington, Stratton, Ludlow, Burlington, Middlebury, Barre, and Rutland. As word continued to reach licensees, the free service started to be used.January to March of 2002, the We Check ID program received a record number of calls. In January there were 47 calls and of those calls 18 were not valid. Again, we were seeing the advantage to this program, and it was a real tool for licensees to keep minors from accessing alcohol. This was both in restaurants (on premise) and from stores (off premise).The program did see a slow-down in calls during the summer months. Typically Vermont sees a slow-down in alcohol problems with minors related to licensed establishments. When school starts back up, not only college, but high school too, violations increase. During the winter months when ski areas are busy with skiers, there are typically increases in violations with minors and alcohol. As the licensees continue to use this free tool, which takes a moment to call, they will find their problems with minors may also decrease. Word gets out that a licensee is checking ID diligently and calling in the data to verify it; those in possession of fake ID may rethink where they may attempt to purchase their alcohol, or for that matter, not even try. Effective June 1, 2003, the program became available seven days a week. There was a sharp increase in usage for June and the number of calls continued to stay up. In October we hit a record total number of calls at 77 for the month.In January the program saw a tie for the record in calls. 77 calls came into the Rutland County Sheriff's Department with 22 licenses being invalid. The calls are pretty steady through the months.