Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws (EUDL)


The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s (OJJDP) Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws (EUDL) program supports efforts by states and local jurisdictions (including military base communities) to build law enforcement/prevention partnerships and apply environmental prevention strategies to address underage drinking. As part of this initiative, OJJDP offers comprehensive training and technical assistance to intervention sites.


To reduce social and commercial availability of alcohol to underage youth

Typical Elements

At the state level:

  • ​A lead agency that has been designated to house administrative operations (e.g., state juvenile justice agency, state substance abuse prevention and treatment agency, state traffic safety agency; Wolfson et al., 2002; Wolfson et al., 2011).
    • Note: In the original project, the governor identified the lead state agency.
  • A program manager (designated or hired) responsible for monitoring, coordinating, and providing training and support for the intervention sites. She or he also organizes OJJDP’s technical assistance as needed.
  • Subcontracts to local communities for intervention sites.

At the community level:

  • At least one part-time coordinator (designated or hired) (Wolfson et al., 2011).
  • Strong relationships between individuals and agencies in law enforcement, prevention, and other community sectors, including partners who will collaborate with the coordinator on program planning and implementation.
  • An assessment of environmental factors (e.g., social and commercial availability of alcohol, laws and policies, enforcement efforts) related to underage drinking in the community (Wolfson et al., 2011).
  • A strategic plan, (approved by the state-level lead agency), for addressing the problem at the local level using appropriate and evidence-based prevention practices (Wolfson et al., 2011). Ideally, this plan should include:


  • Youth under age 21
  • State and local agencies
  • Law enforcement
  • Community leaders
  • Other community groups depending on selected interventions


  • Relative to comparison communities, EUDL communities exhibited significant reductions in alcohol-related crashes involving underage drivers (Wolfson et al., 2011).
  • Relative to EUDL communities with lower levels of implementation, those with higher levels of implementation demonstrated greater increases in community members’ (Wolfson et al., 2011):
    • Expectations about parental and police sanctions
    • Level of concern about underage drinking
  • Relative to Air Force base comparison communities, Air Force base EUDL communities exhibited reductions in the percentage of junior enlisted personnel at risk for a drinking problem (Ames & Spera, 2011; Spera et al., 2010).
    • Air Force bases implementing EUDL also demonstrated reductions in (Spera, Barlas, Szoc, Prabhakaran, & Cambridge, 2012):
    • Failed compliance checks by local alcohol establishments
    • Arrests of minors in possession of alcohol
    • DUIs/DWIs for active duty and civilians under 21 years old


National Evaluation of the Enforcing the Underage Drinking Laws Program

National Evaluation of the Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws Randomized Community Trial: Final Report


No recognition found for role of EUDL in preventing underage drinking and/or its consequences.


Ames, G. M., & Spera, C. (2011). Prevention in the military: Early results on an environmental strategy. Alcohol Research and Health, 34(2), 180–182.

Spera, C., Barlas, F., Szoc, R. Z., Prabhakaran, J., & Cambridge, M. (2012). Examining the influence of the Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws (EUDL) program on alcohol-related outcomes in five communities surrounding Air Force bases. Addictive Behaviors, 37(4), 513–516.

Spera, C., Franklin, K., Uekawa, K., Kunz, J. F., Szoc, R. Z., Thomas, R. K., & Cambridge, M. H. (2010). Reducing drinking among junior enlisted Air Force members in five communities: Early findings of the EUDL program’s influence on self-reported drinking behaviors. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 71(3), 373–383.

Wolfson, M., Patterson, T. E., Williams, A. E., Zaccaro, D. J., DuRant, R. H., Shrestha, A., . . . Altman, D. G. (2002). National evaluation of the Enforcing the Underage Drinking Laws Program. Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Retrieved from https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/Digitization/191211NCJRS.pdf

Wolfson, M., Song, E-Y., Martin, B. A., Wagoner, K., Pleasants, D., Nieberg, R., . . . Hulme, S. (2011). National evaluation of the Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws randomized community trial: Final report. Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Retrieved from https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/grants/236176.pdf