Facts About Underage Drinking by jackshepherd

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									Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission
 Education and Prevention Division
           (512) 206-3290
Despite evidence of the dangers associated with underage drinking, a large number of young people
in Texas Secondary Schools continue to consume alcoholic beverages before their 21st birthday.
Even more alarming are the number of parents and other adults in the community who feel it is the
teens “rite of passage” and continue to provide alcohol to minors under 21. The strong and
persistent perception by parents that young people will consume alcohol anyway and it is safer to
host the alcohol parties in their own homes is both startling and concerning from a public safety
perspective.

The Facts about Underage Drinking Campaign was formed to counter the negative consequences of
underage drinking by providing parents and other community leaders with the tools and resources
they need to encourage change in their community. Consequences of underage alcohol use range
from medical problems to death by alcohol poisoning or unintentional accidents. Underage drinking
also creates secondhand effects that can impact the whole community, including underage drinking
and driving, which puts everyone at risk. The tagline, Communities for Change, speaks to our core
message, that change will result when the community is better educated about the impacts of
underage drinking and is informed about the laws that were written to protect communities from the
consequences of underage drinking. By taking part in the Facts about Underage Drinking
Campaign, your community is joining an effort that will impact the success of not only your
community’s future leaders, but the future of Texas. Collectively, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage
Commission and your community will address the goal of this campaign to:

           •   Inform and increase parents’ participation in efforts throughout the community to
               deter underage drinking;
           •   Document the issues that are important to your community as they relate to underage
               drinking to create change; and
           •   Mobilize leaders in your community to promote an environment free from the
               consequences of underage drinking.

To achieve these goals, a series of activities, coordinated by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage
Commission and community partners, will be organized throughout Hidalgo and Cameron
Counties. The Facts about Underage Drinking Campaign will launch August 30, 2007, and continue
for 18 months. With your assistance, we will urge events in which students are actively creating an
environment for themselves where alcohol-related activities are not involved. We will also work
with parents to inform them about all of the consequences of underage drinking and the importance
of talking to their children about alcohol. We will encourage parents to learn the facts about
underage drinking and not rely on misguided perceptions. Our plan is for parents, students, and
communities to start conversations, address issues, and to begin to identify solutions for the
challenges of addressing underage drinking in Hidalgo and Cameron Counties and ultimately the
State of Texas.

The Facts about Underage Drinking Campaign success rests at the local level. We cannot overstate
the importance of your support and work on behalf of the campaign. To promote and facilitate
successful events, as well as conduct outreach, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission needs
your help. Please join us before another teen is lost to the consequences of underage alcohol use.




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                                       TABLE OF CONTENTS


OVERVIEW OF TOOLS AND RESOURCES ............................................................. 1
KEY CONCERNS ABOUT UNDERAGE DRINKING ............................................... 2
CAMPAIGN PRIMARY TARGET................................................................................ 3
EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS ...................................................................................... 4
AWARENESS CAMPAIGN............................................................................................ 6
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS....................................................................................... 8
TEXAS ALCOHOL-RELATED LAWS FOR MINORS AND PARENTS .............. 10
HOW TO JOIN THE CAMPAIGN .............................................................................. 11




                                                                                                              ii
Overview of Tools and Resources

   •   Key Concerns about Underage Drinking: This campaign is the result of a growing
       concern with underage drinking and its impact on Hidalgo and Cameron Counties and the
       State of Texas. Although not a complete review of the problem, these key concerns were
       used to determine the needs and assess ways to positively address the issue of underage
       drinking.
   •   Campaign Primary Target: The Campaign represents a shift for the Texas Alcoholic
       Beverage Commission from a primary target of students to parents. This section will
       highlight the research used to make that decision. Programs will still be available for
       students and the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission still supports these programs.
       However to meet the goals of this campaign, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission felt
       addressing programs to parents and other adults leaders would best meet the needs of
       Hidalgo and Cameron Counties.
   •   Educational Program: The campaign uses an educational program that was created
       through a joint effort with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, Health Alliance on
       Alcohol, the New York – Presbyterian Healthcare System, and the White Plains Hospital
       Center. TABC provided underage drinking statistics related to Texas and presentation
       information about the Underage Drinking Laws as they relate to Texas. The Texas Alcoholic
       Beverage Commission created a presentation module outlining these laws. Health Alliance
       on Alcohol provided a series of books relating to Talking to Teens about Alcohol written by
       experts in the field of adolescent development from partnering hospitals. Health Alliance on
       Alcohol also provided a presentation module outlining the concepts discussed in the books.
   •   Awareness Campaign: While the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission plans to
       implement, with the community’s support and assistance, a broad range of activities
       throughout the campaign, we have highlighted key activities for the launch of the campaign.
       This section provides guidance on a variety of topics, including how events will be
       coordinated, how the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission plans to work with other
       organizations and leaders within the community.
   •   Questions and Answers: Although just a guide, these sample questions and answers have
       been provided to help prepare you and your community for questions about the campaign.
   •   Texas Alcohol-Related Laws for Minors and Parents: This section is an overview of laws
       pertaining to underage drinking and adults who provide, furnish or sell alcohol to someone
       under that age of 21.
   •   How to Join the Campaign




                                                                                                 1
Key Concerns about Underage Drinking

Underage drinking remains a serious problem in Texas despite laws aimed at preventing and
reducing those under 21 from consuming alcoholic beverages. Underage drinking is embedded in
Texas culture and viewed by many to be a rite of passage and even encouraged and facilitated by
parents and other adults who refuse to change despite the strict laws aimed to deter the activity.
Parents and other adults are either unaware or choose to ignore the growing research that shows the
negative developmental impacts of alcohol consumption during adolescence.

According to The Surgeon General’s Call to Action To Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking
(2007), approximately one-half of America’s boys and girls have had a whole drink of alcohol by
the age of 15 and that percentage grows each year with approximately 90% consuming a whole
drink of alcohol by the time they are 21. When reviewing similar research in Texas, almost 68% of
Texas freshman had consumed alcohol and almost 81% of senior reported drinking alcohol.

Other statistics from the Texas School Survey of Substance Use Among Students: Grades 7-12,
(2004), were just as alarming:
   • Alcohol is the most widely used substance by young people in Texas and the United States.
   • Binge drinking, defined as having five or more drinks on one occasion, was reported by 23%
       of secondary students.
   • About 16% of border and 15% of non-border students said they usually drank five or more
       beers at one time.
   • Over 25% of seniors said that they usually have five or more beers at one time several times
       a month.
   • Over 64% of student who drank alcohol in the past month felt alcohol was “not dangerous at
       all.”
   • About 24% of seniors admit that they have driven a car after having a “good bit” to drink at
       least once. Among those, 16% have done so 1-3 times, 4% have done so 4-9 times and 4%
       have done so more than ten times.

Considering the last statistic, it is probably not surprising that the NHTSA reports Texas as leading
the Nation in alcohol-related traffic fatalities for youths 15-20 years old. Although not just specific
to underage fatalities, Hidalgo County in 2005, reported 53 deaths relating to alcohol-related traffic
accidents alone. This is equivalent to almost 8 deaths for every 100,000 people and listed them in
the top five counties in Texas unrelated to population. Although Cameron County was not in the top
five for alcohol-related fatalities, they still experienced between 16-25 fatalities involving alcohol.
The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission reported issuing 771* violations relating to underage
drinking in these two counties alone from August 1, 2006 to July 31, 2007.

(* DUI Minor; Juvenile Possession/Consumption Alcoholic Beverage; Minor Possession/Consumption Alcoholic Beverage;
Misrepresentation of Age by Juvenile; Attempt to purchase of Alcoholic Beverage; False/Altered ID; Misrepresentation of Age by a
Minor.)




                                                                                                                                   2
Campaign Primary Target

In Texas, underage alcohol use has steadily declined since 1990, but the figures are still high
enough to cause concern. The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission feels that with support from
within communities and parents, we can continue this trend and create a safer community for
everyone.

In 2004, the Texas School Survey of Substance Use Among Students: Grades 7-12, reported that the
majority of secondary students perceived that their parents strongly disapproved of youths their age
drinking beer (64%). However, this figure could result in a misleading perception. As the students
got older, the perceived parental disapproval of beer use declined. While 73% of 7th graders felt that
their parents strongly disapproved of them consuming beer, only 51% of 12th graders reported the
same information.

Does parental disapproval matter? According to the same report, “youths who said that their parents
disapproved of teens their age using substances were less likely to use substances than those who
said their parents approved or were neutral about their substance use.” For parents who strongly or
mildly disapprove of their child drinking alcohol, only 19% drank. Compare that amount to the 50%
of students who said that their parents strongly or mildly approve of drinking and 47% who reported
their parents were neutral. These statistics along with the steady increase in the percentage of
freshman students who consume alcohol (68%) to senior student who consume alcohol (81%), led
the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission to create a campaign were the focus is primarily on
parents of high school students in Hidalgo and Cameron County. Secondary targets would be the
teens themselves and other adults in the community who could provide, furnish or sell alcohol to a
minor.

The Facts about Underage Drinking Campaign uses an educational and awareness component to
share facts with parents about the consequences of underage drinking and Texas laws as they
pertain to underage drinking.




                                                                                                     3
Educational Programs

Although the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission will still participate in Educational Programs
geared to students (Shattered Dreams, School-Based Presentations, etc…), the focus of the
educational component of this campaign will address parents and other adults in the community
who could purchase, furnish or sell alcohol to minors.

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission through research determined that parents were not
always aware of the laws in Texas that relate to underage drinking. Most were aware that minors
under the age of 21 were not allowed to consume alcohol, but they were not always aware that it is
illegal for persons under 21 (other than their own child) to consume alcohol in their residence, even
if they have received permission from the minor’s parents. They were also not aware that their child
could consume or possess the alcoholic beverage only if they remained in the visible presence of the
child during consumption or possession. The severity of the penalties were also not fully
understood, such as, the fact that an adult can be fined as much as $4,000 and spend up to a year in
jail for purchasing or making alcohol available to a minor.

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission decided to use this information to create an educational
program that addressed the laws as they relate to underage drinking. This program looks at what
happens to the minor who possess, consumes, or purchases alcohol and the adult that provides,
furnishes or sells alcohol to the minor. The program also addresses other laws as they relate to
underage drinking such as: driving while intoxicated, driving under the influence, minimum age to
work at bars (on-premises) or convenience stores (off-premises), and Texas graduated driver’s
licenses.

Although the program addresses some things a parent can do to deter underage drinking, the
Commission felt that some additional expertise was needed. To meet this need, the Texas Alcoholic
Beverage Commission researched materials that were available to address talking to students who
were in middle school through the freshman year in college.

The education and prevention division adopted a Facts and Conversations books series created by
Health Alliance on Alcohol. This partnership not only resulted in a unique education program, but
also additional training for Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission personnel. The training
conducted by Karen Soren, MD (Associate Clinical Professor, Pediatrics and Public Health) and
Marina Catallozzi, MD (Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatric Columbia University Medical
Center New York Presbyterian Hospital) allowed personnel in Hidalgo and Cameron Counties to
not only meet the doctors who wrote the book series, but become familiar with the different types of
peer pressure, how to talk to teens about alcohol and how the three different stages of adolescence
can impact not only how one talks to teens about alcohol, but how conversations are even started.

The program is a unique educational opportunity for parents. The program not only addresses laws
relating to underage drinking in Texas, but addresses the significant need for parents to have
conversations with adolescents about identity issues, self-esteem, and smart decision making and
gives conversation starters and expertise in how to realistic talk to a teenager about alcohol from
beginning adolescence to late adolescence. The education program and book series are based on the
concept that it is necessary for parents to have the facts, as teens can be critical and challenging.



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Both the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and Health Alliance on Alcohol feel that parents
who can offer real fact-based information can help teenagers make more informed and ideally safe
decisions. As a result of this commitment to belief, the book series and the Facts about Underage
Drinking Campaign do not support a responsible message. The message is clear: It is both
dangerous and illegal to consume alcohol if you are under 21.

To review the Book Series, please feel free to order or download the materials on-line at
www.healthallianceonalcohol.com




                                                                                                    5
Awareness Campaign


To establish an effective campaign, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission determined the
following goals:

           •   Inform and increase parents’ participation in efforts throughout the community to
               deter underage drinking;
           •   Document the issues that are important to your community as they relate to underage
               drinking to create change; and
           •   Mobilize leaders in your community to promote an environment free from the
               consequences of underage drinking.

Once establishing the goals, the Education and Prevention Division, began the process of
researching evidence-based practices to determine the most effective way to reach the desired
outcome and audience.

To reach parents, the first step involved determining opportunities that already existed within the
communities involved in the Campaign. Through initial contact with the Education Service Center
in Edinburg, Texas, Independent School Districts and Private Organizations, the Division was able
to secure interest and outlets for the implantation process of the Campaign.

Materials were also created and adopted by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission to promote
the message of the campaign. The first phase of the project involves taking the message to the
parents. During phase one, the interested schools will receive banners (English and Spanish) to hang
up on concession buildings during football games and popcorn bags containing the message of the
campaign. Interested high schools will also receive book covers printed by the Texas Department of
Transportation, which are designed with images from a Shattered Dreams hosted at a high school in
the Campaign area.

Parents through community resources will also be encouraged to attend presentations conducted by
Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission Enforcement Officers. During these presentations, Agents
will distribute educational materials and other PI&E materials that support the Campaign. The
Agents will also distribute materials created by the Health Alliance on Alcohol and their partners.

The Campaign launches August 30, 2007, at South Texas College in McAllen, Texas. The Texas
Alcoholic Beverage Commission will coordinate events with media relations in the areas of the
Campaign. This includes outreach to key media outlets, key community leaders, educational
organizations, other law enforcement, coalitions, non-profit organizations, and other organizations
that expressed interest in this Campaign or previous events hosted by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage
Commission.

Immediately following the launch, the Education and Prevention Division will host two open
houses, one in Cameron County and one in Hidalgo County, for residents to learn more about the
program. The Safe and Drug Free School Specialist is also hosting a meeting with Safe and Drug
Free Schools Coordinators within the ISDs to allow the Division an opportunity to share
information about the program and help schools prepare for Red Ribbon Week.


                                                                                                      6
During the 18-month Campaign, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission will continue
communicating information relating to the events and increase the methods for reaching members
of the community. The Education and Prevention Division has already contacted organizations in
Texas to assist with professional development opportunities for Teachers. During these programs,
teachers will learn facts about underage drinking in Texas.

Throughout the Campaign, the Education and Prevention Division will monitor the program and
provide evaluation data about the events and materials. Ultimately, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage
Commission would like to create a working community kit to share with other communities in
Texas.




                                                                                                   7
Questions and Answers

During the course of the Campaign, participants and partners will be asked questions about a range
of topics related to the effort. The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has addressed some
common questions, which amplify the key messages of the campaign.

       Q. Why should my school or organization take part in the Facts about Underage Drinking
       Campaign?

       A. Underage alcohol use is not inevitable. With the facts, schools, parents, other adults, and
       minors are not powerless to stop the negative consequences of underage drinking. Research
       shows that parents who are active in their child’s life and talk to their child about their
       disapproval of underage drinking from an early age, continuously from childhood to
       adulthood make a difference on the child’s decision to consume alcohol before they are 21.
       Communities who join together can impact the leaders of tomorrow.

       Q. How do you plan to get parents involved in the campaign?

       A. Several events have been planned during the Facts about Underage Drinking Campaign
       to generate support throughout the community. The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission
       has put tremendous energy into publicizing campaign activities through various mediums
       and with various partnerships within the community.

       Q. What does the Campaign hope to achieve?

       A. Our goal is to encourage communities to work with as many members as possible to
       become informed and responsible members in regards to underage drinking in their
       community. We want parents to know that they make a valuable contribution to their
       community and family when they talk to their teen about alcohol and express their
       disapproval of underage drinking. We also want the community to be aware that there are
       real consequences related to underage drinking and these consequences can impact the
       whole community not just the minor who consumes the alcohol. We want community
       members to know that involvement in this campaign can come in different forms such as:
       participation in a forum, reporting underage drinking violations, participating in discussions
       about underage drinking, helping an organization in your community with a project related
       to deterring underage drinking, learning about the dangers and risk associated with underage
       drinking, or contacting a family or friend to share information about underage drinking.

       Q. How does this campaign differ from other Alcohol Awareness Campaigns?

       A. The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has supported various campaigns and
       educational projects in the past. In 2006, at the suggestion of our Assistant Administrator,
       the Education and Prevention Division started reviewing past events and efforts to determine
       what was successful and what are some different approaches through evidence-based
       research that we could use to impact underage drinking in Texas. An 18- month pilot
       program was the result of the countless hours of research, conversations, and testing.
       Hidalgo and Cameron Counties were selected for various reasons. The Campaign is
       compressed into two counties to allow the Education and Prevention Division an

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opportunity to test different proven prevention methods to determine what would work best
in Texas. The results from this campaign will be reviewed every year to determine their
effectiveness. At the end of one year, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission along with
our partners will create a community kit that will allow other communities in Texas to
determine what was done, what was effective and how to implement a similar program in
their area. Although the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission plans to share our success
with all of the cities in Texas, we envision sharing the results of our campaign with any
interested parties.

Q. Who is coordinating the campaign?

A. Facts about Underage Drinking is an initiative of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage
Commission. The Campaign is supported through funding made available through the U.S.
Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Program, Enforcement of
Underage Drinking Laws block grant.

Q. Where can I get additional information about the campaign?

A. Contact the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission Education and Prevention Division
at (512) 206-3290 or education@tabc.state.tx.us or talk to your local Enforcement Division
in Harlingen at (956) 427-8053 or McAllen (956) 687-5141. For specific information
relating to the educational program, contact the Education Specialist at (512) 206-3293.
Visit us online at www.tabc.state.tx.us or www.2young2drink.com or to receive tips on
talking to teens, visit Health Alliance on Alcohol at www.healthallianceonalcohol.com




                                                                                             9
Texas Alcohol-Related Laws for Minors and Parents

In Texas, the legal age to consumer alcoholic beverages is 21. If the person is under 21, it is a Class
C Misdemeanor to:

   •   Possess or consume alcoholic beverages
   •   Purchase or attempt to purchase alcoholic beverages.
   •   Misrepresent their age to obtain alcoholic beverages
   •   Drive while having any detectable amount of alcohol in their system.

Consequences can include:

   •   Fine up to $500
   •   Alcohol awareness course
   •   Community service
   •   Driver’s license suspension or denial

Penalties related to underage drinking increase with second, third offenses. For example, a third
offense could result in a $2000 fine, up to 180 days in jail, and a driver’s license suspension.

It is important for parents and other adults in the community to be familiar with underage drinking
laws to protect those who are underage from facing legal consequences related to drinking.
However, the underage drinker is not the only one who can face penalties.

In Texas, it is against the law to provide, furnish or sell alcohol to anyone younger than 21. The
only exception is if the person providing the alcohol to the minor is the minor’s adult parents,
guardian or spouse and is visibly present when the minor possesses or consumes the alcoholic
beverage. It is against the law to provide alcohol to minors that are not legally yours, even in your
own residence, even with permission from the minor’s parents. Having the parent write a note
stating that they give you permission to provide alcohol does not give you permission to break the
law.

If you break the law, penalties can include:

   •   Up to one year in jail
   •   A $4000 fine
   •   An automatic suspension of your driver’s license for 180 days upon conviction (this is only
       applies to people who provide or furnish alcohol; not for selling alcohol to the minor.)

Also, you can be held civilly liable for damages caused by the intoxication of a minor if you
knowingly provided, furnished, or sold alcohol to the minor or allowed the minor to be served
alcohol on your property owned or leased by you, and they, hurt someone, hurt themselves, or
damage property.

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission is asking the community to report underage drinking
anonymously by calling 1-888-THE-TABC (1-888-843-8222).


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How to Join the Campaign

                  Fax the following information to Education and Prevention at (512) 206-3316
                                                                              or
                              Email the following information to education@tabc.state.tx.us
.............................................................................................................................................................


                Facts about Underage Drinking
                                                              Communities for Change
             ________________________________________________________________


Contact Name:__________________________________________________________________

Contact Phone Number: __________________________________________________________

Contact Fax Number: ____________________________________________________________

Email Address: _________________________________________________________________

School/Business Name:___________________________________________________________

Address:_______________________________________________________________________

I am in          Hidalgo County                     Cameron County                      Other: ____________________________

How did you hear about the Campaign: ______________________________________________

I need a Spanish-speaking presenter:                            Yes             No

Preferred method of contact:                        Phone             Fax            E-mail             Mail

I have an idea for the Campaign:____________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________


                                        for additional information please feel free to contact:
                                        Education and Prevention Division (512) 206-3290 or
                                                  mailto:education@tabc.state.tx.us
                                                  Please feel free to visit us online at
                                                       www.2young2drink.com


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Report Underage Drinking
   1-888-THE-TABC
    1-888-843-8222




  www.tabc.state.tx.us
       August 2007

								
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