Judicial Action on Alcohol and Underage Drinking

Judicial E-News header Winter 2014 Judicial Action on Alcohol and 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.

Robert L. Listenbee, J.D.

Office of the Administrator

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention


Inside this Issue

Judicial Action on Alcohol and Underage Drinking

Research on Underage Drinking

Court Spotlight on Underage Drinking

Electronic Webinars

Connecting to the News

Did You Know? Useful Data and/or Legal References on Underage Drinking



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



CRASHs Court

Starts conversations about drunk driving

For over a decade, Judge Mark Barcus and other Tulsa County judges, collaborating with the Community Service Council and others, have brought a program called CRASHs Court to our community’s newest drivers. “CRASHs” stands for “Courts Raising Awareness of Students in High School,“ and it is aimed primarily at high school freshmen. CRASHs Court transforms high school auditoriums and gymnasiums into courtrooms. As students look on, real judges and attorneys handle real criminal cases. Defendants are over 18, but are generally young adults with drunk driving arrests. Usually, at least one defendant gets taken into custody there in front of the student body.   This is not a show we are putting on. This is reality. 

To read this article in its entirety please visit http://www.tulsakids.com/April-2014/CRASHs-Court/

Research on Underage Drinking

Teen Parties: Who Has Parties; What Predicts Whether There is Alcohol and Who Supplies the Alcohol? (August, 2014)

Dr. Bettina Friese and Dr. Joel Grube

This study explores which teens are more likely to have parties at home, what factors are associated with the presence of alcohol at parties, and who supplies the alcohol. We collected data in 2011 and 2012 through telephone interviews with 1,121 teens, aged 15-19, living in 50 mid-sized California cities.

The majority of teens who had parties with alcohol reported that parents knew about the party and the alcohol. Social host ordinances may not be sufficiently enforced to have an impact on parents’ or teens’ behavior. Alternatively, parents may be unaware of social host ordinances and the possible legal consequences of allowing minors to drink in their home. This highlights the need to better inform parents about their liabilities for allowing minors to drink in their homes

To read more, visit http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10935-014-0361-4

Court Spotlight on Underage Drinking:

Wisconsin Court of Appeals Reviews the Interpretation and Application of Term “Accompanied” in an Underage Drinking Case (2014 Opinion)

The City of Monroe issued a citation to Connar Steven Koch for underage possession or consumption of alcohol.  Following a trial to the court, the court found Koch not guilty of underage drinking on the ground that Koch was “accompanied” by a parent, his father, within the meaning of a statutory exception to the prohibition to underage drinking. The issue on appeal is whether the circuit court properly interpreted and applied the term “accompanied” within the meaning of § 125.07(4)(b) to the instant facts in finding Koch not guilty of the charged offense. The Court concluded that the court erred in interpreting and applying the term “accompanied” found in § 125.07(4)(b) to the instant facts. This case required the interpretation and application of a statute to undisputed facts of the case. The case is City of Monroe v. Koch, Appeal No. 2014AP540 (Wis. Ct. App. Oct. 9, 2014) and can be read in its entirety by visiting (insert case link here)

To read the media’s reporting on this case you may click here: http://whbl.com/news/articles/2014/oct/14/state-appeals-court-overturns-ruling-involving-green-county-underage-drinking-party/

Electronic Webinars:

We invite you to visit the Underage Drinking Enforcement Training Center’s website at www.udetc.org to take advantage of the outstanding webinar programs delivered by our project subject matter experts in the past.

Past Electronic Webinars are Available Online

If you were unable to participate in past electronic webinars, we invite you to visit our project website at www.udetc.org and download any of the judicial presentations and companion materials that may be of interest. These items are located under the Judicial Project tab. To listen online please double click the tape icon to play the presentation or right click on the icon to “save” the presentation to your computer for later playback. Past teleconferences include:

  • A Judicial Conversation on Emerging Evidentiary Issues and Alcohol (November 13, 2014)
  • What Judges Should Know About Youth Treatment for Alcohol Related Problems (July 14, 2014)
  • Idaho’s Community Based Sentencing Programs – A Viable Alternative for Underage Offenders (May 30, 2013)
  • Motivational Interviewing: How to Communicate with Defendants and Respondents to Motivate Them to Succeed (January 10, 2013)
  • West Virginia’s Juvenile Drug Court Program: Data Driven Strategies for Success (May 24, 2012)
  • Intervention Principles and Practice Guidelines for Community Corrections on Underage Drinking (September 29, 2011)
  • Massachusetts District Attorneys Engage the Justice Community on the Topic of Underage Drinking (September 22, 2011)
  • Voices of Effective Leadership (August 12, 2011)
  • Reducing Underage Drinking: Research and Information for Judges on Harm Reduction and Prevention Initiatives (June 22, 2011)
  • How Have Budget Cuts Influenced the Court’s Capacity to Process Underage Alcohol Cases? (March 17, 2011)
  • Judicial Round Table on Underage Drinking (August 18, 2010)
  • A Range of Responses to Address Underage Alcohol Offenders: Is One Approach More Effective Than Another? (July 28, 2010)
  • Reno Judges, University of Nevada at Reno Student Code of Conduct Officers, and Police, Innovatively Address College Drinking (April 28, 2010)
  • From the Community to the Courts: A Comprehensive Strategy to Address Underage Alcohol Problems in Long Beach NY (February 17, 2010)
  • Judges to Judges: What is the Impact of Underage Drinking on the Courts’ Caseloads? (September 30, 2009)
  • Communities Working with the Judiciary to Address Underage Drinking (July 22, 2009)
  • The Probation and Judicial Response: Moving Down the Continuum for the Enforcement of Underage Drinking Laws (May 27, 2009)
  • Looking through the Glass Darkly on Underage Drinking (March 26, 2009)

Visit https://www.udetc.org/judicial/judicialaudio.asp to view upcoming programs and access past program recordings and materials, and www.udetc.org to view underage drinking prevention resources. For future program webinar topic ideas, please email topic recommendations to Aidan Moore at [email protected].  Thank you for your interest in our electronic webinar series.

Connecting to the News:

Fort Bragg, NC – Underage drinking: move starts to hold adults accountable (October 2014)


Hancock County, IN – Officials: Hancock Co. underage drinking task force is working (Video) (October 2014)


Colorado Springs, CO – Teen drinking a timeless problem  (September 2014)


Burlington, NC – Fighting underage drinking at its roots  (September 2014)


Austin, TX – Police using social media listening to curb underage drinking (September 2014) http://snaptrends.com/police-using-social-media-listening-to-curb-underage-drinking

Bethesda, MD – Should parents allow their underage kids to host drinking parties at home? The law says no—and anyone who doesn’t heed that may face some hefty consequences.  (June 2014) http://www.bethesdamagazine.com/Bethesda-Magazine/May-June-2014/Underage-Drinking/

Surprise, AZ – Avoiding Curfew Violation and Underage-Drinking: Judge Gerald A. Williams talks tough about common teen problems (April 2014)


Did You Know? Useful Data and/or Legal References on Underage Drinking:

Drinking at an Early Age Linked With Later Problem Drinking

Starting to drink at an early age can increase the risk of alcohol abuse in teens, according to a new study. The shorter the time between a teen ’s first drink and the first time they get drunk, the greater their risk of later alcohol abuse.

The results come from a survey of 295 high school students who drink HealthDay reports. The teens were asked about when they first tried alcohol, when they first got drunk, how often they drank in the first month and how often they engaged in binge drinking (having more than five drinks).

To read this article in its entirety please visit http://www.drugfree.org/join-together/drinking-early-age-linked-later-problem-drinking/

Providing Alcohol for Underage Youth: What Messages Should We Be Sending Parents?

The nature and extent of the risks associated with parental provision, and the potential mechanisms underlying this association, are complex issues. Although more rigorous studies with longitudinal designs are needed, parents should be aware of potential risks associated with providing adolescents with alcohol and a place to drink. It is recommended that parents discourage drinking until adolescents reach legal age. (J. Stud. Alcohol Drugs, 75, 590–605, 2014)

To read this article in its entirety please visit



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.
This project was supported by Grant No. 2009-AH-FX-K001 awarded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Points of view or opinions in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.
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