The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has teamed up with other Utah organizations including parentsempowered.org to educate adults of the costs of underage drinking.
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, underage drinking increases during summer months. In Utah, red and white tags will appear throughout the summer in state liquor stores. The tags are meant to remind buyers that there is a $2,500 fine and the possibility of a jail sentence for giving alcohol to anyone under the age of 21.
“Alcohol and minors just aren’t a good thing,” said Doug Murakami, director of alcohol education with the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. “It doesn’t help kids one bit. We know of nothing good that comes from underage drinking.”
According to Doug Murakami, this new approach is one of many that the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control is using in an effort to prevent underage drinking.
“We felt it was a clever way just to let the public know that there are, you know, severe penalties for providing alcohol,” Murakami said.
Although Utah has the lowest rates of underage drinking in the nation, Murakami said it is still important for parents to not become complacent. He said 30 percent of kids who drink say they get their alcohol from their parents.
“Parents are doing a terrific job in Utah. You know, Utah has the lowest rates of underage drinking in the nation,” Murakami said. “But I think one thing that we need to always remind parents, is that although you know that sounds good, and that is good news, there are pockets throughout the state where the underage use rates for drinking really are the same as any other city in the nation. So we can’t be complacent and say we don’t have a problem.”
According to statistics taken from a Student Health and Risk Prevention survey, in Utah, many kids now begin drinking in elementary school.
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