Thursday, February 28, 2013

Underage Drinking

Back in December, MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) highlighted a study on underage drinking conducted by Monitoring the Future. In that particular study, it was noted that for the first time since the survey began in 1991, fewer than 30% of 8th graders had drunk underage.   The bad news to come out of that study revealed the fact that drinking amongst 12th graders went up during 2012.

More than half of all high school seniors (54%) have been drunk at some time and over half of those have been drunk in the past month.  In addition, almost one out of every four 12th graders reported binge drinking in the past two weeks.

As a police department, those numbers continue to be an alarming statistic and one that needs our constant attention.

The table below shows the number of Overland Park DUI arrests for minors (under the age of 21) over the last five years. As you can see the numbers have gone down considerably compared to what they were during 2008-2010.

Now let’s look at the number of Overland Park alcohol arrests involving minors during that same five year period. Although the number of arrests in 2012 is up slightly compared to 2011, it’s still well below the numbers for 2009 and 2010. Nationwide, the overall numbers are still at unacceptable levels and will require a community-based response to continue to get the message out.

Below is a video from MADD’s website that won their second annual Power of You(th)® video contest to prove that underage drinking is not cool. The winning entry was submitted by 17-year-old Jason Girouard from Brimfield, MA.