Underage Drinking: Success Stories

         

Underage

Drinking: Success Stories

 

 

Oregon

January

15, 2002

 

Scope

of Problem

Prevention

Strategies

Learn

More

Success

Stories

Selected

Resources

 

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.

 

Oregon

Community Emphasizes

Parental Responsibility

Communities

in

Oregon

are addressing under?age drinking by

implementing local ordinances to encourage parental responsibility. These

ordi?nances are part of a comprehensive strategy designed to prevent

youth consumption of alcohol.

 Several communities in

Oregon

receive funding through OJJDP to

combat underage drinking. Two such communities are

Carlton

and Yamhill, in

Yamhill

County

. Upon receiving the grant, advocates

researched possible strategies to develop in their community. In surveying

relevant literature, they found that enforcing and strengthening pertinent

laws is an important part of any attempt to reduce underage drinking.

 

Looking

into the laws affecting their community, advocates realized that law

enforcement was hesitant to enforce the existing state ?parental

responsibility? statute, which deals with ?crimes? and allowed

property seizure. The advocates? response was to develop a city

ordinance mirroring the State law. The ordinance is not as severe, so law

enforcement personnel are more comfortable enforcing it.

Janet

Jones with the Yamhill County Prevention Program says, ?the issue is not

about punishing parents, or even about

passing an ordinance. This is saying aloud that underage and abusive

drinking have hurt too many of our youth, affected too many families, and

that these communities are passionate enough to take a stand to change the

norms that encourage it.?

The

new ordinance stipulates that parents will be fined if a child younger

than age 18 commits an act that brings him under the jurisdiction of the

court or violates the city curfew, or if the parent fails to take

reasonable steps to prevent a gathering of those under 21 at which alcohol

or other illegal substances are available. 

Violators may be fined up to $1,000 and up to $2,500 for damages

and restitution to the court. They may also be ordered to under?go

parental effectiveness education. However, parents are not liable if they

are victims of any perpetrated act the min?ors may commit, or if they

alert authorities to activities covered by the ordinance.

 The ordinance is part of an overall strategy that includes community

awareness, effective educa?tion programs, attractive alcohol- and other

drug-free recreation, and expanded resources and referral for services,

says Janet Jones. Accord?ing to Jones, ?the community coalitions have

built a comprehensive approach to reducing the problem of underage

drinking which city leaders support.?

For

more information, contact Janet Jones

by telephone at 503-434-7378×2

or by email [email protected]

.

 

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