August 26, 2010

Contact: Guy Cousins, Director, Office of Substance Abuse, 287-2595

NEWS RELEASE

Law Enforcement Agencies Statewide Awarded Grants to Enforce Underage Drinking Laws

AUGUSTA - The Maine Office of Substance Abuse of the Department of Health and Human Services recently announced the awarding of grants to 15 law enforcement agencies across the state to target underage drinking.

The two-year grants, ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 annually, will help to coordinate efforts across their respective service areas to enforce existing underage drinking laws. The funding is provided by the Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws Grant, from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Program. The grant runs from October 1, 2010 through September 30, 2012.

Director of the Office of Substance Abuse, Guy Cousins, said that law enforcement plays a critical role in reducing underage drinking in our state. “This is a community problem and it takes an entire community working together to solve it. Research shows that alcohol kills more children than all illegal drugs combined. Many adolescents drink alcohol that was purchased by their parents and many do so without their parents’ knowledge.”

The project includes underage drinking party patrols, collaboration among agencies for special call-out teams to handle large parties, third party transaction surveillance, and compliance checks. It also focuses on helping law enforcement agencies investigate and prosecute those who provide alcohol and/or a place for minors to consume alcohol, as well as notifying parents or guardians of juveniles involved in the use of alcohol.

A major goal of this two-year grant is to build community relationships that will remain in place long after the grant expires. Those law enforcement agencies who have received grants are:

  • Augusta Police Department, $15,000
  • Brownville Police Department, $8,890.97
  • Cape Elizabeth Police Department, $9,999.54
  • Caribou Police Department, $12,960.17
  • Dover Foxcroft Police Department, $9,711.38
  • Ellsworth Police Department, $9,912.00
  • Hancock County Sheriff’s Office, $14,489.39
  • Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office, $15,000
  • Oakland Police Department, $15,000
  • Rockland Police Department, $10,000
  • South Portland Police Department, $14723.84
  • Saco Police Department, $9,814.79
  • South Berwick Police Department, $9,966.45
  • Washington County Sheriff’s Office, $15,000
  • York Police Department, $5,000.