It is illegal to sell alcohol to minors in Norway according to the country’s Alcohol Act. However, time and again Juvente has exposed alcohol is still sold to minors.
Juvente Norway, a member organization of Movendi International, conducts annual compliance checks in Norwegian stores to see if and how they comply with the legal age limit. In these tests called “mystery shopping tests,” Juvente inspectors between 13 to 16 years of age attempt to buy alcohol. They don’t provide false identification or try to appear to look older.
Since 2007, Juvente has carried out these compliance tests in 12,596 stores selling alcohol. These tests have found across the past 13 years:
- Alcohol was sold to one in four minors, which is 3179 times in total across the 13 years.
- On average three units of alcohol are bought in the experiment. This means, minors have been sold 9,500 alcohol units in the last 13 years. In comparison, the alcohol consumption of an average Norwegian is equivalent to 450 beers during the year, so minors have bought alcohol covering an average Norwegian for over 21 years.
In February, 2021 Juvente Norway campaigned against the selling of alcohol to minors. Juvente is increasing people’s awareness of why this is a problem.
Young people are at higher risk of harm from the products and practices of the alcohol industry. They tolerate alcohol much worse and are still developing. Alcohol at this age negatively affects brain development leading to impaired learning ability, poorer memory and weaker impulse control. Young people are also more affected by other negative consequences, from their own as well as other people’s alcohol use. This includes unwanted sexual attention for young girls, being subjected to abuse and violence due to others alcohol use or engaging in violence when under the influence of alcohol.
Currently in Norway, municipalities are responsible for allocating and controlling sales and serving licenses, as well as sanctioning violations. However municipal inspections are ineffective as they do not reveal age limit breaches resulting in revoking of an alcohol permit.
Juvente Norway calls for the following package of solutions to address the problem:
- National guidelines for age control in all shops which sell alcohol,
- Increasing the number of age limit compliance inspections of shops, and
- Stronger and immediate fine for violating the Alcohol Act by selling alcohol to children, such as the revocation of the alcohol license.
During the 13 years we have performed bar inspections, we have seen positive measures from both the grocery industry and politicians being implemented.
But unfortunately, it turns out that these measures have not been good enough to end the illegal alcohol sales that take place daily in Norwegian grocery stores.
Now is the time to take proper action to prevent the sale of alcohol to minors, we are happy to discuss how,” said Juvente Norway, as per Skjenkekontrollen.Juvente Norway