FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SEPTEMBER 21, 2005
CONTACT: KIM JOHNSON
OFFICE OF SUBSTANCE ABUSE
TOUGHER YOUTH DRINKING
LAW TAKES EFFECT
Kimberly Johnson, director of the
Maine Health and Human Services’ Office of Substance Abuse, said
results from the 2004 Maine Youth Drug and Alcohol Use Survey (MYDAUS)
show that most of
“This law supports parents and
communities that set effective boundaries for reduction of underage drinking
and its many risks,” Johnson said. “We know that alcohol
consumption by minors is a major factor in sexual assault, suicide, homicide
and all kinds of accidents. National research and our prevention
program evaluations in
The law, enacted by the 122nd Legislature and signed by Governor John Baldacci, increases penalties for people who furnish, sell, or deliver liquor to minors. It also puts emphasis on the seriousness of allowing teen drinking parties to occur in a home. The sole exception is that minors are allowed to consume alcohol (in reasonable amounts) in a private home in the presence of their own parent. In addition to the $1,000 fine, the law specifies that the fine cannot be suspended if the violation involves one or more minors under age 18.
“District attorneys around the state have also begun to more aggressively prosecute alcohol furnishing offenses, with many making it standard practice to request 48 hours jail time in addition to fines,” said Johnson.
“Many parents are working hard to set clear boundaries and help their own children remain alcohol-free,” said Johnson. “It is simply not acceptable for parents or community members to undermine these efforts by illegally providing alcohol or a place for youth to drink. We need a consistent community effort to protect our young people from the damage associated with drinking at a young age.”
Other new laws designed to help prevent underage drinking also include a requirement that stores selling alcohol display a poster reminding consumers that it is illegal to provide alcohol to minors, and a requirement that clerks card anyone attempting to purchase alcohol who looks under 27.
For more information about underage drinking, visit www.maineosa.org