Keep Your Community Safe
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Underage drinking hurts more than individual teens and their families. It affects the entire community.
Fortunately, your community can play a vital role in preventing the problem. Traci L. Toomey, Ph.D., an alcohol researcher at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, suggests the following steps:
Step 1: Support strong laws and legislation
Tell local and state lawmakers that you want to cut off youth access to alcohol.2 Encourage programs that
- Identify and penalize retailers that illegally sell alcohol to youth.
- Require registration and tracking of beer kegs.
- Support social host laws that penalize adults who enable underage drinking parties.
- Limit new or renewed liquor licenses in your community.
Step 2: Push for strong enforcement
Press law enforcement officials and judicial authorities to actively enforce laws and programs that fight underage drinking. For example
- Any time there is a traffic crash involving an underage drinker, ask officials to find out how the youths got the alcohol, then hold whoever gave or sold it to them accountable. 2
- Support enforcement actions against youth who use fake IDs to purchase alcohol.
Step 3: Involve educators
Contact your local schools and colleges and ask what they’re doing to minimize underage drinking.
Step 4: Hold advertisers accountable
When you see alcohol marketing that targets young people, complain and push to have that advertising be removed. 2
Read more about the impact of marketing on young people here.
Keep our streets safe.
Enforce zero tolerance.
- Alcohol policies in your area
- Laws to prevent underage drinking
- Effective college strategies
- Legal Drinking Age Law: 21
1. Bingham, C. Raymond; Shope, Jean; Parow, Julie; Raghunathan, Trivellore. Crash risk among teen drivers: Identification and prediction of excess risk. The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, Ann Arbor, MI (UMTRI-2007-13). November 2007. Read more
2. Bonnie, Richard J. and O'Connell, Mary Ellen (Editors) Reducing Underage Drinking: A Collective Responsibility, Committee on Developing a Strategy to Reduce and Prevent Underage Drinking, Board on Children, Youth, and Families, National Research Council (2004) Read more
3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance — United States, 2007.” Surveillance Summaries, June 6, 2008 / Vol. 57 / No. SS-4. Read more
4. Compton, Richard P. and Ellison-Potter, Patricia. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “Teen Driver Crashes: A Report to Congress” (DOT HS 811 005) Read more
5. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “Beginning Teenager Drivers.” Read more