The Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board has launched an initiative to stop underage and binge drinking in the state.
ABC Board members and law enforcement officials addressed students at Prattville High School this past Wednesday morning to introduce the program and explain how it would work.
During the meeting, more than half of the one thousand students in attendance promised to not use alcoholic beverages and were given accounts of young people who have died in alcohol-related traffic accidents and the impact the accidents had on their families.
The students making the promises gave themselves pats on the back.
ABC Board Administrator Mac Gipson said underage and binge drinking remain problems for high school and college students.
Gipson said informing schools about the dangers of abusing alcohol will be a major emphasis.
The ABC officials emphasized that under current laws it is illegal for those under the age of 21 to consume or possess alcoholic beverages. It’s also against the law for and adult to provide alcohol to those under the legal drinking age.
“Underage drinking and binge drinking remain big problems in Alabama and the nation, taking or ruining many lives every year,” Gipson said. “The ABC Board wants students and parents to understand both the legal and social costs of such irresponsible drinking.”
Gipson said the purpose of the program is to educate young people and parents about the dangers of binge and underage drinking.
Prattville resident Kaila Toone spoke to students about her nephew who was killed by a drunk driver.
“There is nothing in the world more painful than learning that someone you love has died needlessly,” Toone said.
Bryan Davis with the Prattville Police Department said officials believe that of the one thousand students in the room, about 250 have had a drink in the last 50 days.
“That’s sad,” Davis said.
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