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New campaign targets parents who give alcohol to teens

May 27, 2015

PROVO — High school graduations are in full swing this week and Utah County Sheriff Jim Tracy Tuesday says he has a seat reserved for any adult who provides alcohol to a teenager.

Deputies say that most of the heartbreaking cases they respond to start with teenagers drinking alcohol.

"One of the things that sometimes happens is that adults will provide alcohol to minors, and they will do it with a mindset that it is better to control how they get it, because if they don't control how they get it, then they will find it anyway and it might be irresponsible,” Utah County Sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Cannon said.

Cannon said he has found that teenage drinking usually always leads to drunk driving.

"Minors who consume alcohol, they don't want to get caught in the first place and so they are certainly not going to call a parent in most cases and say, ‘I have been drinking, can you come and get me?’ They are just going to drive home so it creates risks beyond just that they are drinking illegally,” Cannon said.

Cannon and other Utah County sheriff's deputies are putting decals that say “Seat reserved for adults who give alcohol to minors,” on their back windows as a warning to adults.

“We have a reserved seat there. This seat is reserved for adults who provide alcohol to minors and that reserved seat will transport you to the jail,” Tracy said.

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Sheriff's Office 'reserves a seat' for adults who provide alcohol to minors

May 27, 2015

PROVO — Graduations and end-of-year parties are more than expected this time of year, which to the Utah County Sheriff’s Office means more underage drinking and more accidental deaths.

Tuesday morning, the Utah County Sheriff’s Office proclaimed the rest of the month to be “Alcohol-free Graduation Week,” and to do so, deputies’ vehicles will display a sticker over the back door that reads: “Seat reserved for adults who give alcohol to minors." Richard Nance with the SMART coalition said there are more “unfortunate alcohol-related accidents” during graduation than any other time of year.

“We’re very fortunate when compared to other states, but we feel this is still very important to the safety of our teens,” he said.

Utah County Sheriff Jim Tracy said parents and guardians will frequently provide alcohol for their graduating children “as a rite of passage into adulthood.”

“They don’t understand the liability they carry if one of those kids goes out and gets in a car accident, or, heaven forbid, their child becomes a victim of a sexual assault,” Tracy said.

Providing alcohol to a minor is a class A misdemeanor and the stickers on the vehicle are intended to show the deputies’ austerity and commitment to that law.

“If you do this and we find out about it, we will arrest you,” Tracy said. “You have a one-way ticket in a reserved seat to the jail. You will be arrested and you will be charged."

Sgt. Spencer Cannon of the Utah County Sheriff’s Office said at various times during the year, they place a special focus on laws such as drug- and alcohol-related laws or seatbelt laws, as was the case this weekend.

Find full article here.

New underage drinking initiative begins in Utah County

May 27, 2015

UTAH COUNTY, Utah (GOOD 4 UTAH) - With graduations taking place across Utah County this week, a new campaign is aiming at raising awareness of the dangers of underage drinking.

The idea is to not only educate parents on how to keep their kids alcohol free but to also learn the consequences adults face when providing alcohol to minors. Starting Tuesday 50 patrol vehicles with the Utah County Sheriff's Office are going to have stickers placed on the back passenger windows that read "seat reserved for adults who give alcohol to minors."

Tuesday morning, the Utah County Commission signed off and proclaimed this week "Utah County Alcohol Free Graduation Week." The Utah County Sheriff's Office says underage drinking is a big problem and with graduations and celebrations taking place this week alcohol tends to be involved. 

Through a combined effort with the Utah County Dept. of Drug and Alcohol, the sheriff's office and other partners they are reminding parents and adults underage drinking is illegal and providing it for minors could cost you. 

Find full post here.

New campaign targets parents who give alcohol to teens

May 27, 2015

PROVO — High school graduations are in full swing this week and Utah County Sheriff Jim Tracy Tuesday says he has a seat reserved for any adult who provides alcohol to a teenager.

Deputies say that most of the heartbreaking cases they respond to start with teenagers drinking alcohol.

"One of the things that sometimes happens is that adults will provide alcohol to minors, and they will do it with a mindset that it is better to control how they get it, because if they don't control how they get it, then they will find it anyway and it might be irresponsible,” Utah County Sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Cannon said.

Cannon said he has found that teenage drinking usually always leads to drunk driving.

"Minors who consume alcohol, they don't want to get caught in the first place and so they are certainly not going to call a parent in most cases and say, ‘I have been drinking, can you come and get me?’ They are just going to drive home so it creates risks beyond just that they are drinking illegally,” Cannon said.

Cannon and other Utah County sheriff's deputies are putting decals that say “Seat reserved for adults who give alcohol to minors,” on their back windows as a warning to adults.

“We have a reserved seat there. This seat is reserved for adults who provide alcohol to minors and that reserved seat will transport you to the jail,” Tracy said.

The new campaign between the Utah County Sheriff’s Office, SMART (Substance Misuse and Abuse Reduction Team) Utah County Coalition andParentsEmpowered.org is designed to raise awareness of the dangers of underage drinking, what parents can do to keep their kids alcohol-free, and what consequences apply to adults who provide alcohol to underage kids.

Research shows that, on average, teens in Utah who consume alcohol are just 13 years old when they take their first drink.

Health advocates say that is why it's critical for parents to have a conversation with their children about the dangers of alcohol at an early age.

"If you start drinking at the age of 13, you have a 50 percent chance of becoming an alcoholic later in life,” said Richard Nance with the Utah County Department of Drug and Alcohol Prevention. “If you wait until age 23, 24, 25 you have almost a zero percent chance.”

Deputies say when it comes to adults giving teens alcohol, don't ask for any leniency.

"It is very disappointing to see an adult who thinks it is OK to provide alcohol to a minor, and if it takes them being arrested and taken to jail that is what we will do,” Cannon said.

Providing alcohol to a minor is a class A misdemeanor. If convicted, a person can face a year in jail.

Deputies say this isn't a crackdown specific to graduation week. They say with or without one of the signs, they will always keep a seat reserved for this crime.

“Underage drinking is against the law, and for several good reasons,” Tracy said. "As officers, we often see the consequences alcohol can have on the lives of young people. We urge parents to please help us keep our youth free from the negative impact of underage drinking as a way to help them have successful and healthy futures.”

For full article click here

Published: Tuesday, May 26 2015 5:14 p.m. MDT

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