January 22, 2007 Office of Substance Abuse

Support of Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws


This Thursday, January 25, first lady Karen Baldacci and Attorney General Steven Rowe will help the Office of Substance Abuse thank members of 15 law enforcement agencies for working to reduce underage drinking. At 11:30 a.m. at John Martin's Manor in Waterville , the officers and deputies will be commended for their efforts in making the "Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws Grant" from the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention successful.

The grant project aims to increase the effectiveness of underage drinking enforcement and create necessary changes in the community to discourage underage drinking. Over the past year and a half, the grantees -- local and county police departments -- have implemented numerous strategies to reach these goals, including:

  • adopting department policy based on the Maine Chiefs of Police Association's model policy on underage drinking enforcement,
  • enforcement directed at underage drinking parties,
  • building alliances with local retailers and community members, and
  • strengthening investigation of the source of alcohol in underage drinking incidents .

The officers and deputies have also increased public awareness of underage drinking issues and gained media attention for the program.

Local grants have ranged from approximately $4,000 to $15,000 since the project's inception in June 2005. Grantees include: Westbrook PD, Biddeford PD, Penobscot County Sheriff's Department, Calais PD, Winslow PD, Oakland PD, Saco PD, Knox County Sheriff's Department, Cumberland County Sheriff's Department, Hancock County Sheriff's Department, York PD, Orono PD, Eliot PD, Franklin County Sheriff's Department, and Waldo County Sheriff's Department.

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