Underage Drinking: Success Stories

         

Underage

Drinking: Success Stories

 

 

Louisiana

– September 3, 2003

 

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With support from the OJJDP

Enforcing the Underage Drinking Laws Initiative, community organizations, enforcement agencies, youth, and other concerned citizens are working collaboratively to

change local ordinances and enforcement practices.

 

Third Time Is A Charm for Keg Tracking in Louisiana!

According to Louisiana law, legislation such as Keg Tracking and

Mandatory 21 can only be introduced in odd-numbered years. After two

unsuccessful attempts in 1999 and 2001, advocates? tenacity finally paid

off. SB 140 Keg Tracking was signed into law by Governor Mike Foster on

June 5, 2003.

Members of the Louisiana Alliance to Prevent Underage Drinking (LAPUD), a

Statewide coalition comprised of governmental and volunteer organizations,

kept keg tracking a policy priority for 7 years. Student clubs, law

enforcement, and other concerned citizens throughout the State also

supported and publicized the need to enact this measure to reduce access

to alcohol.

In fact, keg tracking made the list for 3 consecutive years as one of the

top recommendations by high school students attending the annual Louisiana

Youth Summit to Prevent Underage Drinking funded by the Louisiana Highway

Safety Commission and the Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control.

To finalize the 2003 Summit, student delegates held a media event at the

Louisiana State Capitol and released their recommendation for keg tracking

legislation to the press. Following the press meeting, youth delegates had

meetings with legislators from their districts. The legislative meetings

and the day at the capitol were key in raising awareness of the crisis of

underage drinking in Louisiana.

The Drinking While Intoxicated (DWI) task force also voted to recommend

this policy to the governor for his support. Previous legislative attempts

in 1999 and 2001 failed to move the proposed legislation out of committee.

In 2003, the Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control succeeded in providing

a manageable fiscal note that committee members could support.

Commissioner Murphy Painter of the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco

Control took the lead on getting the keg tracking policy through

committees and signed into law.

Three lessons learned from the keg-tracking experience are evident.

? Policy work takes a long time?don?t give up!

? Advocates need skill sets that can apply to various issues.

? Youth are effective advocates.

The years of work on keg tracking helped unite youth and adult advocates

in a legislative process to reduce alcohol availability. There is still

much work to be done at the State and local levels in Louisiana. Committed

advocates hope to have future successes to share with coalitions.

For more information, contact

Sharron Ayers, Director of the Louisiana

Alliance to Prevent Underage Drinking at 225.216.0910 or Cathy Childers,

Executive Director, Mothers Against Drunk Driving at 225-926-0807 or

Murphy Painter, Commissioner, Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco

Control at 225-925-4041.

 

 

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Underage Drinking: Success Stories
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