Boise, August 20, 2013 - It's back-to-school season and student safety is a priority for officers who work to prevent crashes and other accidents connected to underage drinking. During a weekend "party patrol", officers found several parties full of underage drinkers.
"We do our best to educate both young people and adults, not only about Idaho law, but the very real dangers connected to underage drinking. Sadly, some of the more tragic car crashes involving alcohol have involved young people. For those who don't get the message, our enforcement efforts are a strong reminder that we take the safety of our young people seriously," said Officer Jermaine Galloway. "Recently we've also seen an increase in complaints about parties that involve underage drinking, which also prompted our efforts this past weekend."
Boise Police Alcohol Enforcement Officers conducted an enforcement effort this past Saturday, August 18th. The effort included alcohol compliance checks at establishments that serve alcohol, a "shoulder tap" operation to check on adults who would purchase alcohol for minors, and what are known as "party patrol" operations.
During the focused Alcohol Enforcement Patrol Saturday afternoon and evening, Boise Police issued:
30-Underage Drinking Citations
8-Adults Providing Alcohol to Minors Citations
6-Open Container of Alcohol Citations
1-Bar After Hours of Alcohol Violation
1-Business Selling Alcohol Without a License Violation
1-Providing False Information to Police Violation
1-Unrelated Warrant Arrest
A recent study published by MADD reveals underage drinking peaks in the summer months.
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.
• 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 (per Idaho State Police):
• 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.
DANGERS OF TEEN DRINKING from www dontserveteens.gov
Teens don't just drink. Studies find they drink to excess.
Underage drinking is linked to injury and risky behavior.
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.
Brain Development and Alcohol Abuse: Research indicates that the human brain continues to develop into a person's early 20s, and that exposure of the developing brain to alcohol may have long-lasting effects on intellectual capabilities and may increase the likelihood of alcohol addiction.
The age when drinking starts affects future drinking problems. For each year that the start of drinking is delayed, the risk of later alcohol dependence is reduced by 14 percent.
Drinking & Driving: 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.
Suicide: Alcohol use interacts with conditions like depression and stress, and contributes to an estimated 300 teen suicides a year. High school students who drink are twice as likely to have seriously considered attempting suicide, as compared to nondrinkers. High school students who binge drink are four times as likely to have attempted suicide, as compared to nondrinkers.
Sexual Behavior: Current teen drinkers are more than twice as likely to have had sexual intercourse within the past three months than teens who don't drink. Higher drinking levels increase the likelihood of sexual activity. Adolescents who drink are more likely to engage in risky sexual activities, like having sex with someone they don't know or failing to use birth control.
Other Risks: Teens who drink alcohol are more likely than nondrinkers to smoke marijuana, use inhalants, or carry a weapon. Binge drinking substantially increases the likelihood of these activities.
Academic Performance: A government study published in 2007 shows a relationship between binge drinking and grades. Approximately two-thirds of students with "mostly A's" are non-drinkers, while nearly half of the students with "mostly D's and F's" report binge drinking. It is not clear, however, whether academic failure leads to drinking, or vice versa.
What can citizens do to help?
Boise Police join Mothers Against Drunk Drivers in urging parents to talk to their kids about making smart choices and highlighting the dangers of drinking alcohol while under 21.
A MADD survey has found parents have a greater influence than many parents might think over the choices their children make. Boise Police encourage parents to take advantage of a helpful web site provided by MADD:http://www.madd.org/underage-drinking/the-power-of-parents/ to help identify ways parents and concerned adults can keep kids safe from the dangers of alcohol.
Call Crime Stoppers:
Boise Police encourage citizens who know of places who serve alcohol to minors, or of places who may be serving already intoxicated patrons 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.
Let's work together and keep our kids safe! Local online resources: