Boise Police and Drug Free Idaho Partner to Keep Youth Safe from the Dangers of Underage Drinking
Boise, May 10, 2011 - Just in time for graduation parties, proms and summer break, a new and innovative campaign is underway to educate and protect teens from underage drinking.
Underage drinking can lead to tragedy. Alcohol is often a contributing factor in the four leading causes of death in people ages ten to 24: car crashes, unintentional injuries, homicide and suicide.
"Underage alcohol use can be prevented." said Marianne King, Director of Drug Free Idaho. "Research shows that teens are less likely to drink alcohol when it's difficult to get, both in the home and in the community. Research also shows kids are less likely to drink when the zero tolerance laws and consequences are publicized and enforced. That's where this campaign comes in."
The Campaign: Posters, decals and QR codes, taking the message directly to those who would buy or give alcohol to minors, and connecting those who know where minors are getting alcohol directly to Crime Stoppers.
The posters, decals and the QR codes were created by students at Boise State University for Drug Free Idaho.
The posters and decals are now, or will soon be displayed:
- In windows of stores where alcohol is sold.
- On store coolers, where they'll advise adults that buying alcohol for minors is a criminal offense.
- In high schools and local parks.
QR codes: Posters in schools, parks and other locations will have a Quick Response code (QR code) that will link citizens directly to the Crime Stoppers text tip line. In 2007, Crime Stoppers began working with Boise Police to locate retail outlets, even private homes and party locations where minors have been supplied alcohol. With the QR codes anyone with an iPhone, Android, or other camera-enabled Smartphone can link directly to the Crime Stoppers tip line.
“We don’t want kids getting into car wrecks, getting into things that will hurt themselves and others as far as fights, injuries or thefts, a lot of times we can tie those things back to alcohol, drugs or substance abuse," said Boise Officer Jermaine Galloway. "Our goal is to prevent that by preventing one of the root causes causes which is often underage drinking“
“We're partnering up with Jacksons and with other local store chains to put up these posters. We're putting up decals right on the beer coolers so that when an adult goes in to purchase beer, you have that reminder to not purchase alcohol for kids. The posters clearly say that's a crime with a minimum $500 dollar fine, and that we are following up with enforcement.“ said Officer Galloway.
Grant funding makes campaign possible: Drug Free Idaho has received a federal grant from Drug Free Communities for $125,000. Drug Free Idaho has chosen to partner with Boise Police and Boise State University to prevent one of the biggest threats to young people's safety - underage alcohol use.
Enforcement: Boise Police have received a significant increase in complaints about house parties involving underage youth and alcohol over the past two weeks.
Over the weekend of May 6, 7, 8, Boise Police and Ada County Juvenile Probation Officers worked together to follow up on citizen tips of houses where minors were being provided alcohol. Officers located three large parties, all in the Boise State area. At the parties, officers found a large number of youth with extremely high blood alcohol levels.
Minors found with very high BACs: During the weekend enforcement, officers found some young people under age 21 with blood alcohol content as high as .22. Several others had BAC's from .14 - .19. Officers report finding many teens drinking high potency sweet-flavored alcoholic drinks along with beer and mixed drinks.
- Minor in Possession/Consumption of Alcohol-57
- Open Container of Alcohol-6
- False Info to Officers-2
- Drug Paraphernalia-1
- Marijuana Possession-1
- Fake ID's-1
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.
For more information on Preventing Underage drinking, go to:
• http://camy.org/ (Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth)
Anyone who sees this type of illegal activity or has information on where alcohol is being supplied to those under age 21 is urged to call crime stoppers at 343-COPS. You can also log onto www.343cops.com, or text CRIMES or 274637, subject: Tip236. A citizen can remain anonymous. A reward of up to $1,000 is offered by Crime Stoppers for information leading to the arrest of criminal suspects.