Friday, October 17, 2014

Eat, Drink, and Be Scary

Crystal Head Vodka

by Joy Spencer

Halloween cocktails are some of the most inventive, creative, and creepiest drinks around. 

If you are hosting a Halloween bash or any other party that could use some spooktacular spirits, go to to find your favorite and brew up some scary fun!

You can find these spirits and much, much more at Oregon liquor stores:

Captain Morgan Black Spiced Rum
Captain Morgan Tattoo
Crystal Head Vodka
 Dead Guy Whiskey

Death’s Door
Espolon Reposado Tequila
Fireball Cinnamon Whisky
Jim Beam Devil’s Cut
Kah Tequila
Kraken Black Spiced Rum
Liquore Strega
Lucid Absinthe
Redrum Voodoo Spiced Rum

SinFire Whiskey
Stein Seven Devils Rum
Tarantula Azul
Tarantula Plata Tequila
Tequila Chamucos Anejo Especial

Rogue Dead Guy Whiskey

Death's Door Gin

Fireball Cinnamon Whisky

Kah Tequila

Lucid Absinthe

Redrum Voodoo Spiced Rum

Have a safe Halloween and please celebrate responsibly!

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Monday, April 28, 2014

Parents: Don’t be a party to underage drinking this prom and graduation season

by Joy Spencer

Remember your prom experience? How about when you graduated from high school? While some things have changed, other pressures are exactly the same. 

Prom and graduation should be celebrated as alcohol and substance-free events. Unfortunately, statistics show that one third of the alcohol-related traffic fatalities involving teens each year occur during April, May, and June -- prom-graduation season. 

Parents can play a vital role in helping teens make good decisions about alcohol - which is great news. Research shows that regular communication between parents and their kids has a positive influence on the decisions that teens make.

What else can parents do?

  • Discuss rules for the celebrating: your own rules, the school rules, and the consequences for violating the rules.
  • Ask your teen for a complete itinerary for the evening, including where they'll be going before, during and after prom. If you have graduates, make sure you know where and when they will be celebrating.
  • Take inventory of the alcohol in your home and secure it, if needed. In a survey by the American Medical Association, two out of three teens aged 13-18 said that it is easy to get alcohol from their homes without parents knowing about it. One-third responded that it is easy to obtain alcohol from their own parents knowingly, which increases to 40 percent when it is from a friend's parent. And one in four teens have attended a party where minors were drinking in front of parents. 
  • If you are hosting a post-prom or grad party, remember it is illegal to serve alcohol to minors. Some parents feel that hosting a house party where alcohol is served to minors is safer because they can control it. Allowing these parties is illegal, even with other parents’ consent. Hosts may be held responsible for consequences that result. Injuries and car accidents after such parent-hosted parties remind us that no parent can completely control the actions of intoxicated youth, during or after a party. And the main message children hear is that drinking illegally is okay. 
  • If your teen is riding in a limo, check the company’s policy on allowing alcohol in the vehicle. 
  • Do not rent hotel rooms or vacation rental properties for your teens.
  • Communicate with other parents about prom-graduation plans. 
  • Reinforce that they should get help if a friend is in trouble. Be available to provide a timely and safe ride home if needed. Let them know that they should call you if they need a ride home or get into a situation they know isn’t safe -- no matter what time it is, no matter where they are. 
  • Remind your teen that everyone has a camera these days. With security cameras, phone cameras and video cams everywhere, it is important your child realizes that they shouldn't do anything that might cause them embarrassment by ending up Facebook or YouTube. Unfortunately, what ends up on the internet and social media, stays on the internet and can be shared with hundreds of people very quickly. Not to mention their future plans for college could be jeopardized. A college acceptance can be revoked for illegal behavior and for getting expelled from high school. 

With good communication, firm expectations, clear ground rules, a little planning -- and lots of cooperation, parents and teens can both have a fun, memorable, and safe prom and graduation season. 
Here's to helping your teens create wonderful memories.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

April is Alcohol Awareness Month

by Joy Spencer

Alcohol Awareness Month is an opportunity to raise awareness about alcohol abuse and encourage people to make healthy, safe choices. During this month, take some time to educate yourself and your loved ones about the dangers of alcohol abuse.

Each year, alcohol abuse in Oregon leads to 1,400 alcohol-related deaths, 5,100 violent crimes, and 41,000 offenses related to driving under the influence.

What are some things that you can do this month? 

Check in with yourself about your drinking habits. Do you enjoy a drink now and then? Many of us do, often when socializing with friends and family. Drinking can be beneficial or harmful, depending on your age and health status, and, of course, how much you drink. What's Your Drinking Pattern Quiz 

If you are concerned about  your alcohol use, or a loved one's abuse problems, here is a website of resources from Oregon's Department of Human Services that can help you:

Talk to your kids about underage drinking. Getting the word across to your kids about the dangers of underage drinking is very important. Many parents don't realize what their kids do after school, at a friend's house, or at a party. And with prom and graduation season right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to have these conversations with your kids. Alcohol related tragedies involving teens increase dramatically in April, May and June so now is the perfect time to talk to your kids about the dangers of underage drinking. 

If you need help initiating these conversations, watch our video “Wasted” which features real kids that were involved in an unfortunate situation involving underage drinking and the tragic consequences that resulted from it. Also, check out this publication on underage drinking from our partners at the Virginia Department of Alcohol Beverage Control.

For more information about alcohol and minors, visit the OLCC's website:

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Safe Spring Break Survival Guide

by Joy Spencer

Spring Break is a break from classes, jobs, and stress – but it is not a break from common sense!

If you are 21 or older, and plan on drinking during your break, remember that alcohol can impair your judgment and actions. Before you head out to have fun, take a minute to read these ten tips for alcohol safety during your Spring Break:

  1. Spring break is not an excuse to drink excessively or drink more than you normally would. Drink no more than one drink per hour and alternate alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic drinks. Eat a real meal before drinking and snack throughout the time you are drinking. 
  2. Leaving town? Know the drinking laws at your travel destination. 
  3. Use the buddy system. Watch out for your friends and ask that they watch out for you. Make it a rule to never leave without anyone you came with. 
  4. If a friend feels sick or has had a lot to drink, you should not leave them alone. And you should expect that your friends will look after you if you are sick. 
  5. Know the signs of alcohol poisoning. 
  6. You should not assume that someone you have just met has your best interests at heart. Keep in mind that more people are sexually assaulted by acquaintances rather than by strangers. Be aware that excessive drinking can lead to more instances of violence and sexual assaults. 
  7. Keep an eye on your drink. If you can, watch your drink being made, do not accept a drink from anyone else, and keep your drink in hand. Date rape drugs, such as GHB and Rohypnol, could be placed in your drink while you are distracted to facilitate rape or other crimes. 
  8. Don't provide alcohol to minors, and never let a minor use your ID. The consequences for both are very serious.  
  9. Never, ever, drink and drive. 
  10. Always make sure there is a designated, non-drinking driver if you are drinking. If your designated driver takes a drink, they are no longer your designated driver. Call a cab.
Have fun, be safe and have a great Spring Break! 


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

St. Patty’s Day celebrations – Slainte!

by Christie Scott

For those who plan to paint the town green, we want to remind you to celebrate responsibly this St. Patrick’s Day weekend.  Although St. Patty’s Day falls on Monday, March 17; many people choose to start the festivities over the weekend.

Green beer, Irish whiskey, and Irish cream liqueur are all popular beverages on the one day of the year when everyone is Irish. Whether you choose to celebrate at home or at one of 7,000 bars, restaurants and taverns that sell alcohol across the state, we ask that you plan ahead for a safe night and not rely on the luck of the Irish.

Tips for St. Patty’s Day Celebrations:
§        Pace yourself – Enjoy water or a snack between beverages, it will help you make it to the pot of gold at the end of the night.
§        Don’t drink on an empty stomach - A serving of corned beef and cabbage can help your body process the alcohol.
§        Plan ahead for a safe ride home – Save a gold coin or two to pay for a cab or ride public transit
§        Thank your servers and bartenders – They have a responsibility to make sure that customers don’t drink too much.  If they take your drink away or offer to call you a cab – Thank them.  They are doing it because they are responsible and they want everyone to be safe.

Visit for store hours, directions, and available products.  Liquor stores across the state will have normal business hours on St. Patrick’s Day. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Two teen girls caught in Downtown PDX bar after sneaking away from school field trip

 by Christie Scott

Two teenage girls and a 22-year-old man were taken into custody in Portland’s Old Town.  The two girls (ages 14 and 15) had snuck out of an overnight field trip with their school and tried to enter four Old Town bars before gaining access into a fifth bar with a 22-year-old man.    
OLCC Stock Photo

The two girls were spotted by a bouncer at one of the night clubs in Old Town.  When they couldn’t produce identification, they went to three other neighboring clubs, where they were also denied entry.  Out of concern, the first bar’s bouncer contacted OLCC inspectors about the two very young-looking girls when he saw them leaving with a man after the third bar. 

OLCC inspectors found the two girls and the 22-year-old man at Harlem, 220 SW Ankeny; where the girls were drinking alcohol supplied by the 22-year-old. 

OLCC Public Safety Director, John Eckhart commends the bouncer for being proactive in contacting the OLCC inspectors and preventing the two young girls from getting into more trouble.  OLCC relies heavily on relationships with the businesses in Old Town to address alcohol issues downtown.

The girls were cited with Minor in Possession, the 22-year-old was arrested for furnishing alcohol to minors, and the club will be charged administratively.  The girls were released to school authorities at the scene.

OLCC inspectors work routinely with Portland Police, bouncers, and security in Old Town in an effort to keep alcohol out of the hands of minors.

For more information on Oregon’s Alcohol Laws and Minors:

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Cheers to the End of Prohibition, and Some Little Known Facts About Oregon's Alcohol History

by Joy Spencer

Illegal Moonshine Still near Skyline in Portland, Oregon
Today, December 5, marks the 80th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition, ending the 13-year stretch when alcohol was banned from coast to coast.

In January 1920, the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution went into effect making the sale, manufacture and transportation of alcohol illegal nationally.

But, many years before that - even before Oregon was a state, ‘Oregonians’ tried to control the manufacture and sale of liquor.  

In June of 1844, Oregon's provisional government enacted a prohibition law designed to “prevent the introduction, sale and distillation of ardent spirits in Oregon.”  This law remained in effect until September of 1849, when the territorial legislature repealed it.  

Rather than total prohibition, Oregon passed various laws in the following decades designed to regulate liquor sales.  These acts tended to specify certain licensing criteria for the selling of liquor, and in some cases banned the sale of alcohol in areas near construction projects and churches, or to minors and the intoxicated.
In November of 1887 Oregon voters defeated a proposed amendment to the state constitution to institute state-wide prohibition. Saloons were by law allowed to operate in Oregon by a measure approved by the voters in November 1889.

On June 6, 1904 Oregon voters approved the local option act. This law established that a successful county-wide vote for prohibition would make each precinct in the county subject to the ban on alcohol. In 1905 the Legislative Assembly enacted statutes that enabled the implementation of the local option law. That same year the city of Hood River enacted prohibition by local option election. Subsequent challenges to the local option law during the years 1905-1907 resulted in local option being upheld by the Oregon Supreme Court. During the following years, various counties and cities enacted prohibition via use of the local option.

On November 3, 1914, five years prior to national prohibition, the voters of Oregon passed an amendment to the state constitution prohibiting the manufacture, sale or advertisement of intoxicating liquor (see related proclamation above left). In 1915 the Legislative Assembly, via the Anderson Act, enacted legislation implementing statewide prohibition. The law became effective on January 1, 1916. Less than a year later, in November of 1916, the state's voters defeated a proposed state constitutional amendment to permit the sale of beer. In 1917 the Oregon Supreme Court upheld prohibition in a challenge to the new law's constitutionality.

The 18th Amendment to the US Constitution went into effect in January 1920, making the sale, manufacture and transportation of alcohol illegal nationally.

In both 1925 and 1931 the Oregon Legislative Assembly refused to pass bills that would have sent to the voters a call to reconsider statewide prohibition.

In the summer of 1933, the voters repealed Oregon's constitutional prohibition amendment, and shortly thereafter Oregon ratified the 21st amendment to the U.S. Constitution, repealing national prohibition.
Almost immediately following the repeal of national prohibition, Governor Julius Meier began efforts that, by the end of the year resulted in the formation of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, or OLCC, which continues to promote the public interest through the responsible sales and service of alcoholic beverages.