Greenville EUDL Coalition Announces 5th Wave of “Underage Drinking -Adult Consequences.” Christmas and New Year Holidays Campaign Focus
As with the previous four waves, the focus of fifth wave is on individuals under 21 years old who still have not received the message that it is against the law for them to possess, purchase, or consume alcohol. Law enforcement will be conducting increased party patrols, public safety checkpoints, saturation patrols, and other enforcement operations meant to decrease alcohol access for individuals not of legal drinking age. “In South Carolina, it is a violation of the state law for anyone under 21 years old to possess, consume, or attempt to purchase alcoholic beverages.,” stated Chief Lance Crowe with the Travelers Rest Police Department. “In addition, it is a violation of the law for anyone regardless of his or her age to sell or otherwise transfer alcohol to anyone in that age group.”
Mostly, social sources remain the most common method underage individuals receive alcohol. “According to 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Surveys, Greenville County youth who admitted past 30 day use of alcohol stated almost 70 percent of the time they had obtained alcohol from friends, family, or strangers.” said Curtis Reece, Manager of Prevention Services at The Phoenix Center of Greenville. “That same survey reveals that over 30 percent of youth admitted either driving after drinking or riding with a driver that had been drinking.”
Consequently, this campaign is not just about tickets or arrests for alcohol access. It is about saving lives in Greenville County. The CDC estimates that approximately 85 youth and young adults die in South Carolina each year due to alcohol related crashes, intentional and unintentional accidents associated with alcohol access. Nationally, about 4,600 to 5,000 youth and young adults die each year due to similar consequences of alcohol access.
In late 2011, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) awarded the Greenville Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws Coalition a special enforcement grant in an effort to save more lives on local roadways. The Greenville County Alcohol Enforcement Team (AET) is responsible for enforcing the underage drinking laws as a part of the cooperative agreement between NHTSA and the Greenville County EUDL Coalition. The Coalition is comprised of law enforcement, prevention specialists, community leaders, concerned volunteers, and representatives from a multitude of other organizations working together to make Greenville County safer for citizens and visitors.
The Phoenix Center of Greenville coordinates the Greenville EUDL Coalition and its grant activities. After this enforcement wave, a final wave is planned in January 2013.
For more information please visit www.NHTSA.gov.