Boise, November 30th, 2011 - The next time you make a purchase at an Idaho State Liquor Store in Boise or Garden City, you'll be part of the newest campaign to prevent underage drinking. The campaign is sponsored by Drug Free Idaho, Boise and Garden City Police.
Officers hope the messagesticks.
High school students spent dozens of volunteer and community service hours today placing bright white and red stickers on the brown paper bags customers use to carry their purchases from liquor stores. The stickers boldly remind adults it is illegal to provide alcohol to minors and doing so carries a $500 fine and possible jail time.
"It's the responsibility of all of us to keep our young people safe," said Marianne King, Executive Director of Drug Free Idaho. "Alcohol use by teens is known to cause car crashes, injuries and other dangers that can drastically alter an otherwise bright future. We want to prevent that in our community."
The patch and badges for Boise and Garden City Police are also on the posters, emphasizing that law enforcement is looking for those who fail to heed the message of prevention.
"There's one big reason we invest a lot of time into enforcing Idaho laws that prevent underage drinking - it's dangerous," said Boise Police Neighborhood Contact Officer Jermaine Galloway. "Sometimes we find adults with a casual attitude about underage alcohol use. That attitude would change quickly if those people could respond with us to accidents and other cases where a young person is hurt and alcohol was a factor. You can't help but think, if alcohol wasn't involved, maybe the kid would be okay instead of heading to the hospital.. or worse."
The stickers were designed by students at Boise State University and printed at a local business. BSU students also designed several other posters and clings currently hanging on beer coolers, doors and windows of dozens of local convenience stores. Those posters also remind adults it's illegal to buy teens alcohol. See the news released issued by Boise Police May 10, 2011.
Dangers of teen alcohol use: A study sponsored by the Federal Trade Commission and published at www.dontserveteens.gov shows teens don't just drink, they drink to excess. More than 8 percent of eighth graders, 16 percent of sophomores, and 24 percent of seniors report recent binge drinking (5+ drinks on the same occasion). Statistics show that the majority of current teen drinkers got drunk in the previous month. That includes 50 percent of the high school sophomores who drink and 65 percent of the high school seniors who drink.
According to the U.S. Surgeon General, about 5,000 kids under 21 die every year as a result of underage drinking – from crashes, homicides, and suicides. Teens that drink also are at risk for a long list of other injuries and potential life-long alcohol abuse. Reducing underage drinking can reduce drinking-related harm.
Car crashes are the leading cause of death among people ages 15 to 20. About 1,900 people under 21 die every year from car crashes involving underage drinking. Young people are more susceptible to alcohol-induced impairment of their driving skills. Drinking drivers aged 16 to 20 are twice as likely to be involved in a fatal crash as drinking drivers who are 21 or older.
Grant funding makes this ongoing campaign possible. Drug Free Idaho has received a federal grant from Drug Free Communities for $125,000. Drug Free Idaho has partnered with Boise and Garden City Police and Boise State University to prevent one of the biggest threats to young people's safety - alcohol abuse.
Call Crime Stoppers: Boise Police and Drug Free Idaho encourage citizens who know of places who serve or sell alcohol to minors to contact Crime Stoppers. Boise Police will follow up on citizen tips. You can contact Crime Stoppers at 343-COPS, or log onto www.343cops.com, or text CRIMES or 274637, subject: Tip236.