ABC fighting youth drinking

Published 11:59 pm Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Alabama Beverage Control Board reported Thursday that it has seen a “calm summer” so far in regards to underage drinking, and agents urged area youth to continue the trend as the high school athletic season begins.

Lt. Lance Price said that outside of a few “isolated instances,” agents have seen a decrease in the number of house parties and field parties attended and hosted by youth ages 21 and younger.

While he couldn’t give specific numbers of arrests, Price said he could only recall one specific underage drinking incident between the end of May and the present.

“It has been a calm summer for us,” Price said. “We haven’t been called anywhere or had to initiate any cases, if memory serves me. Although we did have one incident where a teenager consumed so much alcohol it required a weekend hospital stay because of possible alcohol poisoning. So, (underage use) is still out there and continues to be a problem.”

Price said with the upcoming high school football season beginning tonight, it could be deemed a prime time for those “after game parties.”

“First off, it’s a felony to possess alcohol on school property — whether it’s an elementary school, middle school or high school,” he said. “It’s not ‘fun and games’ to have a shot of liquor or a can of beer at a sporting event.

“Secondly, after the game, we all know that our youth like to celebrate a victory and console after a defeat,” he said. “They need to be reminded that if they are under 21, it’s illegal to do either with alcohol.”

Price said minors ages 18-20 who are caught drinking will be “transported immediately to the Covington County Jail” and those 17 or younger will be transported also and then released into the custody of their parents.