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Group seeks to end underage drinking

Drinking before the legal allowable age is a crime. It is also a dangerous practice. Teens often feel as if nothing bad could ever happen to them, and therefore, are more likely to take risks than adults. Add this fearlessness with the lack of inhibitions created by alcohol and underage drinking can be a serious problem. Our Suffolk area readers might be interested to hear how an agency is attempting to put an end to underage drinking in their local area.

The Seneca County Substance Abuse Coalition (SCSAC) approached the Ovid town board seeking their continued support for funding to help curb underage drinking. The organization has been operating on a three-year grant which will expire in June 2014. The organization pinpoints problem areas concerning underage drinking, and with the combination of education and other means, have been working to decrease the number of teens who drink in the area.

The group focuses on three areas: parents who allow their teens to drink as long as they aren’t driving, those who do not feel that teens drinking is a real threat and adults who provide alcohol to the youth in the area. The group has worked to target those adults who assist youth in their quest to obtain alcohol and are pushing for a “Social Host Ordinance” that will make adults liable if they provide alcohol to underage drinkers or to people who are obviously intoxicated.

The group wants to use the next round of funding to work on a survey and accompanying study. Information obtained over the last few years has shown that the adults in the local area are making underage drinking too viable an option, and now elementary school-age children are starting to drink as well. The group wants to work with law enforcement to study the data and come up with solutions to stop underage drinking.

If the new ordinance that the group wants to institute goes into effect, there could be an increase in the number of underage drinking violations, as well as DUI and DWI offenses. Anyone who is facing such charges would be wise to seek the advice of legal counsel so a vigorous defense can be created.

Source: Ithaca.com, “Group seeks grant to curtail underage drinking” Aneta Glover, Sep. 04, 2013