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Taking steps to decrease youth alcohol access

4:10 PM, Apr. 8, 2013  |  Comments
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As we begin the busy prom and graduation seasons, students, parents and other adults are reminded to prohibit underage alcohol use. In collaboration with local school districts and law enforcement agencies, Drug Free Communities of Fond du Lac County, is promoting messages to continue to educate community members of the dangers of underage drinking as part of "Alcohol Awareness Month."

Look for billboards, newspaper ads and yard signs along with other campaign messages as reminders about the dangers and the legal consequences of underage drinking and hosting underage drinking in your home.

According to the annual Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug and Health Experience survey of Fond du Lac County youth, three out of five students report alcohol being very/fairly easy to access and approximately one in five students report they have attended a party in the past year when parents were present and aware of underage drinking.

Over the past year and a half, Social Host Ordinances have been adopted in the City of Fond du Lac, Villages of North Fond du Lac and Campbellsport, and Fond du Lac County. These ordinances hold adults who knowingly allow underage alcohol use on their private property responsible.

County law enforcement agencies will increase efforts during the prom and graduation times by having extra officers on the roads for party patrols as well as OWI patrols to deter underage drinking along with drunk driving.

"It's important to have conversations with teens about the responsibilities and consequences of their actions, as well as encouraging other parents not to provide alcohol at their events, especially if your child is going to be there" commented Darren Pautsch, North Fond du Lac Chief of Police. "Parents and other adults have the power to prevent underage alcohol use," Chief Pautsch added.

Drug Free Communities of Fond du Lac County suggests that adults refuse to supply alcohol to anyone under the age of 21, make sure that alcohol is not brought into your home or on your property, and report underage drinking to local law enforcement officials.

Parents can also take reasonable steps to prevent an underage drinking party, even if not at home:

? let your child know parties are not allowed

? have a neighbor or trusted friend check on the house

? lock up or remove alcohol from the home

"Underage drinking is illegal, has long term health consequences and is a factor in the leading causes of death among youth." said Amy Johannes Clinical Supervisor of Addiction Services for Agnesian Behavioral Health and chairperson of Drug Free Communities of Fond du Lac County. "We want this to be a joyful and safe prom and commencement season; underage drinking isn't part of that picture," Amy added.

For more information on what you can do to reduce underage drinking, visit the Drug Free Communities Website at www.drugfreefdl.com, call 906-6700, ext. 4704; or find us on Facebook.

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