Underage Drinking Focus of Meeting
Thursday, 20 May 2010

May 20--  Many people who sell alcoholic beverages in Vidalia got together with the Vidalia Police Department and community action groups this week to discuss sale of alcohol to minors.

"We had a good turnout and a lot of questions.  It seemed like everybody was interested and wanted to do the right thing," reports Vidalia Police Lieutenant Tony Phillips.

Vickie McKea of Toombs County Family Connections says underage drinking is a serious issue.  "There is a problem with it being purchased in the Toombs County area as it is in most areas.  People will try to get friends to buy it for them, they use fake ID's and it's definitely a problem among our children today," she says.

Lieutenant Phillips says high school graduation weekend is a good time to emphasize prevention.  "We do focus on it.  We do a lot of stings involving underage alcohol sales and patrol officers are out pretty heavily during prom weekends and graduation weekends.  Not just here, but nationally, about 69% of traffic crashes involve 15 to 20-year-old drivers who have had alcohol to drink," he notes.

McKea is hopeful those attending the meeting will follow through and help prevent sales to underage drinkers.  "We gave them information on where they can go on line on how to catch fake ID's and those buying it for younger individuals.  We are doing whatever we can to save our children," she said. 

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