Program Cracks Down on Underage Drinking on College Campuses
BOSTON — Massachusetts State Treasurer Deb Goldberg along with the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (ABCC) launched Operation Safe Campus this fall. The program is designed to specifically target underage drinking on college. This initiative began at the time of year when students return to colleges and universities throughout the Commonwealth.
“Stepped-up monitoring and enforcement can save lives and prevent tragedies before they happen,” said Treasurer Goldberg. “Operation Safe Campus takes immediate and effective steps that result in the direct prevention of underage drinking and acts as a long-term deterrent to bar and package store owners serving and selling to minors.”
The initiative primarily consists of enforcement in the parking lots and surrounding streets of specific liquor stores and bars that have historically had a serious problem with underage individuals purchasing alcoholic beverages through false identification or through adults procuring alcoholic beverages for them.
The program focuses on front-line prevention, with investigators calling a teen’s parents when violations occur. ABCC officials say that most parents are unaware that their children are involved in the use of alcohol, and that the intervention is a powerful tool toward family involvement in addressing the problem of underage drinking.
In 2015, ABCC Investigators found 201 minors in possession of or transporting alcoholic beverages and 69 adults procuring alcohol for minors. They confiscated 122 cases of beer, preventing delivery to approximately 1528 underage individuals.
Statistics show that three teens die from drinking and driving every day. Alcohol intoxication has also been reported to be involved in 47% of homicides and 23% of suicides involving people under 21. In Massachusetts alone, the overall cost of alcohol abuse by youth is estimated at $1.4 billion.