Wednesday, April 16, 2014

April is Alcohol Awareness Month

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

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!

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

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

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.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Alcohol Safety Tips for College Students

Every year students around the country end up in hospitals from injuries caused by alcohol abuse. Keeping alcohol out of the hands of minors is a priority for the OLCC.  Working cooperatively with our partners at University of Oregon, Eugene Police Department, UO Police Department, City of Eugene, representatives from area businesses and neighborhood leaders, we each bring something unique to the table that helps educate new students and returning students about alcohol safety and liquor laws.

Below are a just a few tips to help college students both under 21 and over 21 to be responsible. 

Under 21?
Using a Fake ID
  • It’s a Class C misdemeanor for anyone to misrepresent their age. If you are convicted, you can lose your driving privileges for up to one year.
  • Did you know that if you’re using someone else’s ID, the person who owns the ID can also be held responsible?
College Parties
  • Choose not to drink until you’re 21.  It keeps you physically safe and out of trouble.
  • Make sure you are with a friend you can trust to help you make good decisions.
Tempted to Drink?
  • There are stiff legal penalties for consuming alcohol if you under the legal drinking age of 21. If you’re caught with alcohol, you can be fined and/or required to perform community service. You might also be required to have an alcohol assessment and treatment program.
  • Alcohol use can result in a trip to the ER, hospital, morgue, and/or a criminal record.
  • Alcohol use can also lead to unplanned parenthood, sexually transmitted infection and disease.

Over 21?
Providing Alcohol to a Minor
  • Even if you’re legal to drink, it’s not okay to give alcohol to someone underage. Providing alcohol to a minor is a Class A misdemeanor. Penalties are: first conviction: $350 fine. Second conviction, $1000 fine. Third or subsequent conviction: a fine of $1,000 and not less than 30 days of imprisonment.
  • Even if you don’t buy the alcohol, providing a place for minors to drink alcohol is a Class A violation.
Throwing “Parties”
  • Did you know that you can be held liable for any injuries, damages, or even death caused by someone else who obtained alcohol from you?  It’s best to protect yourself when drinking with friends.  Make sure everyone who is drinking is over 21 and have a house plan to deal with folks who’ve had too much to drink. Provide guests a safe way for them to get home if they need it.
  • It doesn’t have to be your house for you to be responsible – it can be a camp site, hotel room, or any other rented/leased location.
  • If liquor laws are being broken, any property that is involved in the “party” can be confiscated – glasses, furniture, DJ equipment, etc.  If there is a conviction, your items become property of the state.
Don’t be afraid to call for help
  • If you’re in a situation where someone is in danger, don’t be afraid to call the police.  It’s much better if you are proactive in getting professionals involved to take care of the situation, than if you try to cover it up and someone gets seriously hurt. 
For more information on Oregon’s Alcohol Laws and Minors:

Statewide, OLCC regional offices partner with most state and private universities in Oregon, including both the University of Oregon and Oregon State University, on numerous programs to curb underage drinking.  The OLCC Eugene Regional office also participates in the UO Substance Abuse Coalition and the once-a-term Campus Partners meeting at which UO, neighbors, city officials, and partners share info and strategize about issues of mutual interest. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Cheers to celebrating our nation's independence, safely and responsibly

Ninety percent of July 4th parties include setting off fireworks and celebrating with alcohol. Alcohol consumption can increase the risk of injury and make adults less able to supervise children properly during the festivities.
  • Have non-alcoholic beverage options available.
  • Keep the alcohol consumption under control by designating a bartender to mix the drinks.
  • Never serve anyone underage.
  • Never drink alcohol if you are setting off fireworks.
  • Nominate people who are not drinking alcohol to take charge of fireworks displays.
  • Keep guests who are drinking alcohol well away from fireworks.
  • Consider limiting the availability of alcohol until after the fireworks display.
  • Do not carry fireworks in your pocket to street parties or celebrations.
The July 4th holiday is the also the second most-deadly holiday period of the year just behind New Year’s, due to impaired driving. Always plan ahead to make sure that you arrive home from the festivities safely.
  • Whenever you plan on using alcohol, designate your sober driver before going out and give that person your keys.
  • Use alternative transportation like taxi cabs or public transit to get to and from an event.
  • Promptly report drunk drivers you see on the roadways to law enforcement.
  • Wearing your safety belt or using protective gear on your motorcycle is your best defense against an impaired driver.
  • NEVER allow an impaired friend or guest to get behind the wheel.
  • Step up and offer to call your friend a cab, let them sleep it off or find a sober friend to give them a ride.
Make sure that your July 4th celebration is a safe one. Wishing you a wonderful holiday weekend!