Boise Police Department
News Release

Michael F. Masterson
Chief of Police


Contact: Lynn Hightower
Communications Director
570-6180

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

UPDATE: Underage alcohol laws enforced: Crime Stoppers tips line pays off

UPDATE: Underage alcohol laws enforced: Crime Stoppers tips line pays off

    UPDATE: July 11, 2007 - With summer here and students out of school, local police officers continue to send a strong message against underage drinking.

    As part of a continuing effort to educate adults and teens about the dangers of underage drinking, and to enforce underage drinking laws, Boise Police partnered with Ada County Sheriff's deputies and the Idaho State Police to conduct what's called a "compliance check" to see that laws regarding the sale of alcohol to minors are being followed.

    Between June 30th & July 1st, of 20 businesses checked in Boise City, 6 were found to sell alcohol to minors. The businesses in violation included three restaurants, and three stores or convenience stores all over the city. These cases will be forwarded to Idaho State Police for further investigation and any appropriate administrative penalties.

    In addition, 7 adults were cited for providing alcohol to minors. The adults were cited after being asked by teenagers outside Boise grocery and liquor stores if they would purchase beer with money provided by the teens working with police.

    Further Enforcement to Continue through the Summer: As citizen tips on establishments selling alcohol to minors continue to come in, Boise Police, with assistance from the Alcohol Beverage Control unit of the Idaho State Police will continue to investigate businesses and individuals who sell or provide alcohol to minors.

    "The risk to families and young people are just too great," said Boise Police Officer Jermaine Galloway, who helped organize the enforcement effort. "So many tragedies involving young people stem from the irresponsible or illegal use of alcohol, we need to continue to send a strong message that we want our kids to be safe."

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Original Release:

     Boise, May 18, 2007 - As summertime approaches and students will soon be getting out of school, local police officers want to send a strong message against underage drinking.

     Education:

     Crime Stoppers Tip Line-Education Program: A Crime Stoppers education program was introduced in late March, with a news conference and public service announcement. The PSA's have been running at Boise area Edwards Theatres, helping build awareness of the problem of underage drinking and over-service of alcohol and the Crime Stoppers program. The theatre announcements will continue through June. (Copies of the PSA's were distributed to media at a news conference March 21st.)

    Some of the businesses now being cited for serving alcohol to underage youth were identified through this new Crime Stoppers program that encourages citizens to be aware of underage drinking or the over-service of alcohol, and to call police or Crime Stoppers when they see it.

    Enforcement:

    Buying Alcohol for Minors: Last night, Thursday, May 17th, Boise Police, with assistance from the Idaho State Police Alcohol Beverage Control unit, cited 6 individuals in 3 hours for providing alcohol to minors. All six adults were cited after being asked by teenagers outside local grocery stores if they would purchase a 12 pack of beer with money provided by the teens. During the investigation, about one in four of the adults approached by the teens agreed to buy them alcohol.

    Selling Alcohol to Minors: May 4th, Boise Police, again with the assistance of the Alcohol Beverage Control unit from Idaho State Police, cited 9 local businesses for selling alcohol to minors, including eight grocery or convenience stores and one Northwest Boise bar. The stores included those in West Boise, the bench, and the North End. The businesses cited were 9 of 43 establishments checked, or 21%. During the May 4th investigation, two adults were also cited for purchasing alcohol for minors.

    Further Enforcement to Continue through the Summer: As citizen tips on establishments selling alcohol to minors continue to come in, Boise Police, with assistance from the Alcohol Beverage Control unit of the Idaho State Police will continue to investigate businesses and individuals who sell or provide alcohol to minors.

    Penalties:

     Penalties of providing alcohol to underage youth:

  • A person who sells or furnishes alcohol to an underage youth will face fines between $500 and $1,000 plus up to one year in jail. 
  • A person who sells or furnishes alcohol a second time will face a fine between $1,000 and $2,000 and up to one year in jail.

      Penalties/Laws on underage alcohol use or possession:

  • It is illegal for those under 21 to drink, buy, possess, transport or have open alcohol. Penalties for a minor in possession of alcohol: 1st offense = fine up to $1,000 and up to one year drivers license suspension.
  • It is illegal to have a fake ID to purchase alcohol. Penalty is a general misdemeanor: up to $1,000 fine, 6 months in jail.
  • Those who refuse alcohol tests when driving a motor vehicle and stopped by a law enforcement officer could lose their license and get points on their driving record.
  • In Idaho, people under age 21 who are found with a blood alcohol level of .02 - .07 face charges of Underage Driving Under the Influence with a 1st offense maximum penalty of a $1,000 fine and a one year drivers license suspension.

      State Administrative Penalties for licensed establishments that sell alcohol to minors:

  • 1st offense within three years - 10 day license suspension or $1,000.00 fine
  • 2nd offense within three year  - 30 day license suspension or 15 day suspension and $1,500.00 fine
  • 3rd offense within three years - 180 day license suspension

      For more on the Crime Stoppers tip line for underage drinking/over-service of alcohol, please see the news release dated March 21, 2007 at www.boisepolice.org.

     Dangers of Underage Drinking:    

      It's well documented, underage drinking can lead to tragedy. Underage drinking is a factor in the 4 leading causes of death in people ages 10 to 24: motor vehicle crashes, unintentional injuries, homicide and suicide.      

      Underage alcohol use can be prevented. Research shows teens are less likely to drink alcohol when access is difficult, both in the home and in the community, and parents explain that they expect "no use" before age 21 and monitor their children's activities.

      Research shows underage youth are less likely to drink and drive when the zero tolerance laws and consequences are publicized and enforced.

    For more information on Preventing Underage drinking, go to:

  • www.madd.org
  • http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/topics/underagedrinking/
  • http://camy.org/      (Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth)