The TrAIL (Tracking Alcohol in IL) Program is designed
to hold accountable those who provide alcohol to individuals under
the age of 21. It is also expected that TrAIL will provide more
extensive data on injuries and deaths caused by underage drinking
and serve as a deterrent to those supplying the alcohol.
A TrAIL investigation would occur when underage alcohol consumption
is suspected in an incident that results in serious consequences.
This could be car crashes, alcohol poisonings/overdoses, or other
events which cause serious injuries or deaths. If the above criteria
are met, first responding officers on the scene call a 24-hour hotline
number to deploy a TrAIL investigator, who will assist the responding
officer in the collection of evidence and will pursue a line of
questioning to determine where the alcohol was purchased or served.
Conducting a TrAIL investigation immediately after an incident
greatly increases the odds of successfully tracking the alcohol
purchase, according to law enforcement professionals. While the
initial responding officer concentrates on the immediate aftermath
of the incident (i.e., monitoring traffic flow, coordinating emergency
vehicles around the scene, interviewing those involved in the incident,
etc.), a TrAIL investigator will focus specifically on determining
where the alcohol was purchased.
In addition to its own special agents, the Liquor Commission enlisted
the support of other state agencies to serve as TrAIL investigators,
including Illinois State Police troopers, Secretary of State Police
officers, and the Department of Natural Resources Conservation Police.
The TrAIL protocol was activated on a pilot basis in the following
counties (with the month activated in parentheses):
During its first year, a total of 28 TrAIL investigations were conducted in incidents which resulted in 19 fatalities and 45 injuries. The program will continue to be expanded into additional counties,
with an ultimate goal of being made available statewide in the near
Of course, educating the public is critical in reducing the amount
of alcohol that ends up in teens' hands. With this in mind, the
ILCC developed an underage drinking awareness program to deliver
this message to the local communities. The Don't
Be Sorry Public Education Program has been designed
by the ILCC to target all members of the community. This includes
teens, their parents, elected officials, local law enforcement,
and the business community (specifically the liquor establishment
For more information about the TrAIL and Don't Be Sorry
programs, please call ILCC Industry Education Manager Ted Penesis