Judicial Action on Underage Drinking:

Judicial E-News header May 2009 Judicial Action on Underage Drinking:

Judicial & Probation Outreach Project:

OJJDP logo

On behalf of the Judicial and Probation Outreach Project team, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) would like to thank you for your interest in underage drinking-related issues and best and promising practices to create safer and healthier environments for our nation’s youth; and encourage you to engage in discussions about the topic to identify promising court practices and community engagement that will not only impact the individual youth, but will have long lasting effects in changing community norms and responses to this complex public health and safety issue.

Jeff Slowikowski

Office of the Administration

Acting Administrator

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention


Inside this Issue

Case Spotlight on Underage Drinking

Upcoming Electronic Seminars

Connecting to the News

Useful Data




Please visit our enhanced website at www.udetc.org for the latest information on underage drinking and judicial resources.



Clackamas County logo

Court Feature: Clackamas County Juvenile Department’s Response to Underage Drinking

Like many communities, underage drinking in Clackamas County, Oregon, had often been viewed as a harmless “rite of passage”, law enforcement tended to pour out alcohol that was found in possession of underage youth, and those youth who were cited for more egregious alcohol-related offenses other than “mere” possession and consumption, were processed in a regular circuit court setting. Criminal Justice System (CJS) professionals soon realized that drinking behaviors by youth were quickly changing, alcohol-related crimes by youth were on the rise, and a “one size fits all” court approach to address this multi-faceted issue was not effective.

In 1995, a new program for Minor in Possession (MIP) of Alcohol was developed by the Clackamas County Juvenile Department to more effectively address first time MIP violations through diversion and/or specialty court approaches. The philosophy of the program is to ensure youth are being held accountable for their actions, their treatment needs are being assessed, and their risk to the community is addressed.

To read more about Clackamas County’s promising diversion/court practices approach to underage drinking click here

Case Spotlight on Underage Drinking:

Judge Neal LemeryThere is an ill wind blowing (Published October 15, 2008; Authored by Judge Neal C. Lemery, OR)

There is an ill wind blowing through our town.…

We don’t talk about the elephant in the living room, and we quickly sidestep the difficult questions it raises as we go about our lives, and step around the corpses of its victims. If this ill wind was the Black Death, or an oil spill on our beaches, or another Tillamook Burn, we would rise up in the streets, and fight this disaster head on, with all of our collective energies and resources.

But we don’t. Once in a while, after one of our youth is killed in an alcohol-soaked crash, or there is a serious assault or homicide caused by booze, we wring our hands and bemoan the prevalence and power of alcohol abuse in our town. But, a few weeks later, the topic of conversation changes, and we go on.

To read the entire article, click on: https://www.udetc.org/documents/judicial/0509eNews/lemery.pdf, or copy and paste the link to your internet browser to access the article on-line.

Upcoming Electronic Seminars:

CourthouseThe Probation and Judicial Response: Moving Down the Continuum for the Enforcement of Underage Drinking Laws

Date: Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Time: 3:00-4:15 p.m. EDT

Speakers: Carl Wicklund, Executive Director, American Probation and Parole Association; Raymond Wahl, Juvenile Court Administrator, Salt Lake City, UT; and Judge Thomas Bamberger, State of New Hampshire District Court System.

Description: This program is the second in a series of audio-teleconference presentations produced by the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE) and the American Probation and Parole Association (APPA) in cooperation with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) with a focus on the relationship of the judicial and probation communities and the issues related to underage alcohol abuse.

The judicial and probation systems are important elements in any community system designed to reduce underage drinking and its consequences; yet, these systems each face unique concerns and challenges when working with offenses related to underage drinking. This presentation will provide an overview of guiding principles that probation agencies should consider when responding to and addressing underage drinking offenders; discuss ways Utah is incorporating evidence-based practices regarding screening, assessment, and interventions for underage drinking offenders; and describe the role of the judiciary in facilitating and supporting more effective responses and sanctions for underage drinking offenders.

To register click here.

Girl with beerCommunities Working with the Judiciary to Address Underage Drinking

Date: Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Time: 3:00-4:15 p.m. EDT

Speakers: TBA

Description: This program is the third in a series of audio-teleconference presentations produced by the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE) and the American Probation and Parole Association (APPA) in cooperation with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) with a focus on the relationship of the judicial and probation communities and the issues related to underage alcohol abuse.

Nationally, the costs of underage drinking are in excess of $60 billion dollars; and of those costs, approximately 80 percent are crime-related (Miller, T., et. al, 2006). Underage drinking is not a harmless “rite of passage”, but rather a serious public health and safety issue requiring engagement of the entire community to resolve. Judges play a vital role in this process. Learn how various community leaders have appropriately engaged judges in their work to prevent youth access to alcohol and reduce youth consumption of alcoholic beverages; and how judges have set the “bar” for community responses to underage drinking, including promising court practices.

*Visit https://www.udetc.org/judicial/judicialaudio.asp to see a schedule of upcoming audio conferences, and to register for calls that may be of interest to you.*

Connecting to the News:

Booze-party Sentence (Published October 18, 2008, NJ)

Judge Fights Back Against Underage Drinking (Published March 17, 2009, TX)

Facebook Photo Convicts School Aide of Drinking Charge (Published March 17, 2009, OH)

Useful Data:

Judge Lucinda MastertonUnderage drinking parties open door to liability (Published March 19, 2009, KY)

By Lucinda Masterton, Judge for the 5th Division of the Fayette Circuit Court

What can be done about underage drinking? The idea of playing host to gatherings that involve underage drinking as a means of controlling them has become more common, although often with devastating results.…

But exactly how safe are the kids, or the condoning adults?

Before parents open their homes to underage drinking parties, it’s important to consider the potential consequences, including the host’s potential criminal liability, the host’s potential civil liability, and most importantly, the danger to the kids.

To view the entire article that includes useful legal references, click on https://www.udetc.org/documents/judicial/0509eNews/liability.pdf or copy and paste this link to your internet browser in order to locate the information.


UDETC NLC 2009 logoWe want to share some exciting details with you about this year’s 11th Annual Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws (EUDL) National Leadership Conference: Beyond Boundaries: Timely Trends and Technology!

General Conference Information:

This year’s conference will take place August 13-14, 2009 in Dallas, Texas. The conference will officially begin on Thursday, August 13th at 9:15am with an exciting Conference Opening Plenary and end on Friday, August 14th at 4:30pm with our special Closing Session. Pre-conference meetings will be held on Wednesday, August 12, 2009 (by invitation only). There will be numerous interactive workshops, plenary sessions, and networking opportunities. This conference continues to be the preeminent Underage Drinking Conference specially suited to offer the most innovative tools, resources and data to EUDL State/Territory Coordinators, enforcement officers, executives, youth, government officials, staff of community-based organizations, legal professionals, and all other individuals concerned with underage drinking. You will leave with a host of practical ideas from the most prominent experts in the field, new found partners through various networking opportunities and advanced knowledge that can be put to use immediately in your.

For more information about the conference including registration and hotel accommodation information, visit the Underage Drinking Enforcement Training Center’s (UDETC) website at www.udetc.org or contact the UDETC at 1-877-335-1287 or via email at [email protected]

We Want to Hear from You:
We recognize that judges play a vital role in educating underage youth and adults who appear before them, and heavily influence community norms around the complex issues of underage drinking. Our project seeks out judges, courts, and judicial initiatives that can be held up as models for the rest of the country, and research that would be useful to the Courts when addressing these cases. We are looking for examples to highlight in our “Judicial Action on Underage Drinking” section to document how a judge, court, or judicial initiative has developed and implemented successful strategies on the complex issues around underage alcohol problems. We are also looking for media features about court responses to underage drinking that can be placed in future Judicial E-News communications and posted to our website as a resource for others in the field who may find the information of interest. If you would like to share your successes with us, please contact Aidan Moore at [email protected], or Holly Torske at [email protected]. We look forward to working with you and expanding our outreach to the judicial and probation communities about best and promising court practices on underage drinking-related issues.
The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent the views of the Office of Juvenile Justice for Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) or the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE) and are solely those of the author/source.
Judicial Action on Underage Drinking:
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