Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Support alcohol compliance project

This month, the Blaine County Alcohol Compliance Task Force launched a third attempt at checking local businesses selling alcohol to minors. The newspaper labeled it a "sting" operation. Some businesses complained of entrapment. To be clear, nearly as many businesses carded this underage CSI law-enforcement cadet because they thought he was underage as those who failed to card him.

The upside to this upset? Most citizens and businesses of the Wood River Valley (even those facing consequences for failing to comply) were in support of programming efforts aimed at increasing the health and safety of our youth, and dismissed what some called "journalistic sensationalism."

Blaine County has an opportunity to facilitate a goal that this community already prides itself on—healthy living. It starts by keeping alcohol out of the hands of our developing youth.

Alcohol compliance checks are proven, evidence-based strategies adopted by the Blaine County Drug Coalition and local law enforcement in an effort to reduce youth access to alcohol, a nationally recognized priority under the 2006 Sober Truth on Preventing Underage Drinking Act. This work has proven to build community awareness around the public safety concern of youth substance abuse and over time has contributed to reductions in youth drug and alcohol use rates.

The Community Drug Coalition and law enforcement congratulate those who passed the recent compliance checks and continue to encourage businesses (pass or fail) to sign up for training with their employees and review their procedures for following state law in a joint effort to eliminate underage drinking and create a safe community for our children. Thank you for your support!

Leah Fredback

Blaine County Community Drug Coalition

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