Maryland county works to implement underage drinking prevention

Maryland leaders in Frederick County are working toward reducing underage drinking by implementing a variety of community measures. Representatives from the police department, health department and other groups have formed the Frederick County Alcohol Prevention Initiative Coalition, designed to target those establishments that allow underage drinking to occur. Officials say that prevention is the key to reducing underage drinking rates.

Not only can underage drinking lead to teens being involved in the juvenile law system, it can also cause injuries, underage drinking and driving accidents and even fatalities. Young drivers may be more dangerous when intoxicated, said one police representative, largely because the children do not know how to “handle” alcohol in their bodies. Teens who engage in underage drinking may end up facing long-term consequences, along with social and family concerns.

The answer, according to the panel, is increased awareness about the dangers of alcohol consumption. They plan to improve awareness through educational presentations. Further, the coalition plans to implement measures that monitor locations where underage drinkers are most likely to obtain alcohol. Underage drinking can occur at restaurants and bars, and liquor stores can also contribute to the deadly phenomenon. By cutting the alcohol off at the source, officers say they may be able to reduce underage drinking and its related long-term consequences for youngsters.

Establishments that encourage underage drinking should be held responsible for this inappropriate action. Underage drinking is everyone’s issue; from parents to high-school students to restaurant owners. Teens who find themselves facing allegations of minor consumption of alcohol may benefit from a consultation with a qualified attorney, who can help them learn more about their legal rights and options.

Source:  Your4State.com, “Officials Form Group to Reduce Underage Drinking” Bejoy Joseph, Jan. 23, 2014