Annual Underage Drinking Crackdown Begins

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Meridian Township police announced they will be splitting a federal grant four ways to help crack down on underage drinking. The money will help pay for undercover police prevention methods called operation LOOKOUT.

The grant is worth $10,000, meaning four local Ingham county law agencies can expect to receive about $2,500 each.

The money is expected to fund overtime operations for some officers and deputies as they work or observe in undercover positions at local stores and restaurants selling alcohol.

Meridian Township, Ingham County Sheriff's Office, Lansing Township and the East Lansing police will split the grant. Extended Web Coverage

Teen Alcohol Abuse

  • 10 million Americans between ages 12-20 had at least one drink in the last month.

  • Of the 10 million, five million were binge drinkers (having five or more drinks in a row), 2.3 million were heavy drinkers (consuming five or more drinks in a row on a single occasion).

  • Eighty percent of high school seniors have used alcohol; in comparison, 65 percent have smoked cigarettes; 50 percent have used marijuana; and 10 percent have used cocaine.

  • Approximately two-thirds of teenagers who drink report that they can buy their own alcoholic beverages.

  • Use of alcohol and other drugs is associated with the leading causes of death and injury (e.g., motor-vehicle crashes, homicides, and suicides) among teenagers and young adults.

  • The total cost of alcohol use by youth--including traffic crashes, violent crime, burns, drowning, suicide attempts, fetal alcohol syndrome, alcohol poisonings and treatment--is more than $58 billion per year.

  • First use of alcohol typically begins around the age 13.

  • Among teenagers who binge drink, 39 percent say they drink alone; 58 percent drink when they are upset; 30 percent drink when they are bored; and 37 percent drink to feel high.

  • Eighty percent of teenagers don't know that a 12 oz. can of beer has the same amount of alcohol as a shot of whiskey; similarly, 55 percent don't know that a 5 oz. glass of wine and a 12 oz. can of beer have the same amount of alcohol.

  • Teenagers whose parents talk to them regularly about the dangers of drugs are 42 percent less likely to use drugs than those whose parents don't, yet only 1 in 4 teens reports having these conversations.

Source: National Council on Alcoholism contributed to this report