Selling alcohol to underage adolescents in Romania: compliance with age restrictions in Pitesti

Joris J. van Hoof, Marit Moll, Maria Constantinescu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademic

9 Citations (Scopus)
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Aim: To explore the compliance rates of alcohol sales to underage youth (under 18 years old) in Pitesti, Romania.

Method: To investigate compliance rates the method of mystery shopping was conducted. Four underage students (two boys and two girls) visited 58 alcohol sales points in October 2008. The visited alcohol sales points were all located in the six neighbourhoods surrounding the city centre of Pitesti and the city centre itself. The 58 sales points consisted of 8 bars and 50 big and small supermarkets.

Results: All 50 supermarket purchase attempts were successful; the compliance rate with the law is therefore is 0%. Only once a cashier asked the underage mystery shopper for their age, but after lying according to the script (I'm 18 years old), alcohol was sold nonetheless. No differences in successful purchases between boys and girls exist. Also, all eight bar purchase attempts were successful; compliance rate in this sector also turns out to be 0%. Notable fact is that four visited sales points were located near a high school.

Conclusion: Alcohol sales to underage youth turns out to be a major point of concern. Alcohol sales personnel does not comply with age restrictions and therefore intervention by local licensing and control bodies is needed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-91
Number of pages14
JournalRevista de cercetare si interventie sociala
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Mystery shopping
  • Adolescent
  • Risk behaviour
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Private drinking places


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