Local Youth Fight Underage Drinking - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

11/13/04

Local Youth Fight Underage Drinking

"It takes a lot of initiative, a lot of self determination to get out, maybe even if it's not a popular thing to do around their peers," says Dennis Carelton, TABC.

Agent Dennis Carelton is talking about Youth in Action, a group of 40 area junior high and high school students, who are determined to make a difference. The group hopes to raise awareness about underage drinking and they're doing it with the help of someone who actually profits from alcohol sales, Doc's Beer Store.

"We got involved to help show our support for MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) and all these kids and what they're trying to do and basically the main thing is just to prevent underage drinking," says James Bill, Doc's.

They hope that Saturday's project will help people who purchase alcohol to avoid a "sticky" situation. Members of the Youth in Action organization believe that something as simple as placing a sticker on a case of beer will act as a deterrent to someone planning on selling or giving alcohol to minors. Each sticker states in bold letters that you must be at least 21 years-old to purchase an alcoholic beverage.

"It's gonna let the kids know, the stores aware. You know, it could tell that one kid to not do it and it would help change his mind, and if it's just that one kid, it was all worth it," says Eric Schaff, Youth in Action volunteer.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving says 10.1 million people from the ages of 12 to 20 reported current use of alcohol in 2001. Law enforcement officials like Corina Gainey recognize that many probably think a sticker won't stop the purchase of alcohol for minors, but for that one person, it might turn the light bulb on.

"It's a reminder, and if it's caught in an area where you're in an accident or anything like that and that stickers staring you straight in the face, you cannot say you did not know, that you were unaware," says Gainey, DPS officer.

If the sticker is not enough of a reminder, then jail time might be. If caught providing or furnishing alcohol to a minor, you could be fined a maximum of $4,000 and sentenced to serve a year in the county jail.

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